Indian Ports Association seeks to establish new panel of bunker suppliers

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Indian Ports Association seeks to establish new panel of bunker suppliers

Bunkerspot 1 January 2019

The initiative is part of a drive to upgrade national bunkering services and attract larger tonnage to refuel at Indian ports.

The Indian Ports Association has issued a request for qualification (RFQ) and is inviting submissions from interested bunker suppliers. The intention is to create a panel of suppliers that would be in place for a three-year period.

The Association notes that there are 12 major ports and some 200 ‘non-major’ ports along India’s coasts and islands. Some 23,000 vessels called at the major Indian ports during 2016-2017, and, according to IOC estimates, bunker fuel demand at the nation’s ports currently accounts for just 1% of global demand.

The Association also highlights the need for the upgrading of bunkering services at Indian ports and notes that: ‘There is a need to rationalise the taxing on fuel oil to make its purchase by the global shipping industry more attractive.’

At present, the bunker sector largely caters to coastal shipping and government vessels, and the Indian government is keen to encourage greater demand from foreign vessels.

India imposed an 18% GST on bunker fuel in July 2017. This was subsequently reduced to 5% in October of that year, but demand for marine fuel at Indian ports has remained depressed as a result of the introduction of the tax.

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