In a 1st, ship-to-ship operation of LPG conducted at Kol Port

KOLKATA: For the first time in the history of major ports in India, Ship-to-Ship (STS) operation of LPG was undertaken by Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port (SMP), Kolkata and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL)

at Sandheads.

The mother vessel Mt. Yushan with a parcel load of 44551 metric tonne (MT) cargo carried out STS operations with daughter vessel Mt Hampshire at Sandheads.

The cargo operation commenced at 12:48 hours on October 15 and completed at 06:06 hours on October 16.

A quantity of 23051 MT of cargo was transferred to the daughter vessel.

"The instant STS operations are expected to open new business potential not only for the country's oldest riverine major port but also benefit the trade and country as a whole in terms of saving substantial foreign exchange," Vinit Kumar, chairman, SMP,

Kolkata said.

A senior official of SMP said with the STS operation at SMP, Kolkata is likely to emerge as a game changer in the overall economics in handling imported LPG in the Indian Coast.

The restricted draft in the river channel necessitates offloading of part cargo at neighbouring ports before calling at Haldia Dock Complex (HDC) or Kolkata Dock System (KDS) of SMP, Kolkata (erstwhile Kolkata

Port Trust).

Consequent to two port discharges, vessels incur dead freight and additional steaming time.

To obviate the inherent channel constraints, SMP Kolkata has endeavored to open up opportunity for importers to bring in Cape Size or Baby Cape vessels at the deep drafted anchorages located at Sagar, Sandheads and X Point and enable handling of fully laden dry bulk vessels through deployment of floating cranes or ship cranes.

Over the years, a good number of dry bulk vessels have been handled at the lighter age points.

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