The country’s second largest oil marketing firm Bharat Petroleum has upgraded its bunkering facility with five jetties that can now pump the oil into ships from the pipelines at the Marine Oil Terminal on the Butcher Island, off the east coast of the port city of Mumbai.
BPCL is the largest supplier of bunkering oil with around 60 per cent of the volume at JNPT, Mumbai Port and the two other harbours nearby the city consuming around 400 thousand metric tonne (tmt) annually.
“And the sell-off bound national oil marketer expects to double its annual sales to 14 tmt from 7 tmt now after the updrade and complete mechanisaiton of the oil filling facilities now,” S Jena, executive director, industrial & commercial at BPCL said in a press release.
“On average, as many as 5,000 vessels berth at Mumbai, JNPT and the adjoining Digi and Dharamtar – ports annually, creating a bunkering business of close to 400,000 tonnes of VLSFO. The upgraded facility on the Jawahar Dweep, earlier known as the Butcher Island, will be used bunkering very low sulphur oil (VLFSO), that ships use’to power their motors.”
The upgrade includes the construction of the underwater pipeline and connecting the pipeline to the terminal at BPCL’s Mumbai refinery, was completed on time, despite the lockdown challenges and and heavy monsoons in Mumbai, BPCL said. Pipeline bunkering at four of the five jetties are already on while the fifth jetty is under construction now.
Before this, bunkering was carried out first by filling barges that required unloading of around 40 filled tanker lorries. With the upgrade, bunkers can now be filled by pumping, thus reducing time to 4 hours from two days earlier. The Jawahar Dweep also houses the marine oil terminal of the Mumbai Port.
BPCL has tankage capacity of 16 thousand kilos, at the terminal which is connected to its Mumbai refinery through subsea pipelines. Jena said on an average, 5000 vessels berth at Mumbai, JNPT and adjoining Digi and Dharamtar ports in a year, creating a bunkering business of close to 400 tmt of VLSFO (Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil).