Kolkata Readies for LNG-Fuelled Barges
India’s Ministry of Shipping has announced that a site at the Haldia Dock Complex under Kolkata Port Trust in India’s north east will be used to set up LNG bunkering facilities.
About 10 acres of land near Haldia Oil Jetty No. 1 have been earmarked for a period of 30 years for the LNG storage facilities which are expected to be developed over the next two years.
The Port of Kolkata is a riverine port located around 203 kilometers (126 miles) from the sea. It is the oldest operating port in India and was constructed by the British East India Company. The Port has two distinct dock systems: Kolkata Docks at Kolkata and the deep water dock at Haldia Dock Complex
The land allocation is part of the Ministry of Shipping’s efforts to reduce logistics costs, reduce emissions and to push the use of LNG as fuel for barges. “Only a few advanced countries are using LNG powered barges at present. Therefore in that sense, the development at Haldia Dock Complex can be seen as a very positive one,” said the Ministry in a statement.
Efforts to introduce LNG as barge fuel are part of an overall strategy to promote transport on inland waterways and coastal shipping.
The construction of LNG barges at Indian shipyards would be entitled to a 20 percent subsidy through the Ministry’s ship building subsidy scheme.
The Ministry of Shipping has been in discussions with Petronet LNG and the Inland Waterways Authority of India on the feasibility of setting up LNG facilities at Haldia, Sahibganj, Patna and Ghazipur on NW-I (Ganga) since April this year. LNG barges are expected to be operational on Ganga, National Waterway-1, by the end of 2018.
Goa and Maharashtra also have tremendous potential for the introduction of LNG barges on their waterways, says the Ministry.
In January, Krishnapatnam Port Company Limited announced that it had signed an agreement with the Government Andhra Pradesh and Petrogas to develop a floating LNG regasification and storage terminal at the eastern Indian port.