Informed local industry sources have told Bunkerspot that the much-anticipated resumption of bunkering operations at the Sri Lankan port of Hambantota is now scheduled for an official launch in the second half of March.
As previously reported by Bunkerspot, in April last year the Chinese energy giant Sinopec won the bid to operate the Hambantota oil tank terminal and provide bunkering facilities. The company had originally planned to start up operations – armed with IMO 2020-compliant product – in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2019. However, the preparatory work has taken longer than anticipated. Sinopec’s stated ambition is to transform Hambantota into a major bunkering hub for South Asia, generating bunker volumes of more than one million tonnes per annum within five years.
While Hambantota remains an important part of the Sri Lankan authorities’ strategy for upgrading the country’s maritime facilities, there are also ambitious plans afoot to expand container handling capacity at the Port of Colombo and to boost the energy sector with new refineries.