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Thursday, July 25, 2024

BPCL to Temporarily Operate New Liquid Terminal at JN Port Amid Bidder Security Clearance Delays

In a strategic move, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL), the state-run oil refiner, is set to temporarily take charge of a recently developed liquid cargo berth situated adjacent to its existing facility at Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JN Port). This interim arrangement comes into play as the port authority awaits security clearance for bidders participating in the tender process for the new liquid cargo berths 3 and 4, causing potential delays in selecting an operator.

BPCL, actively involved as one of the seven bidders vying for the project, has stepped in to prevent the new berths from lying idle during this transitional phase. The port authority, cognizant of the potential idleness if security clearance is not promptly obtained for all bidders, has reached an agreement with BPCL. Under this arrangement, BPCL will invest approximately Rs 2.5 crores in a pipeline to initiate the operations of the new terminal. The state-owned company will oversee the facility until the official selection of the successful bidder, thereby ensuring the continuous functionality of the asset.

Part of a competitive bidding process, seven entities, including BPCL, J M Baxi Ports & Logistics Ltd, JSW Infrastructure Ltd, Ganesh Benzoplast Ltd, IMC Ltd, and Aegis Logistics Ltd, are vying for the 30-year contract. The contract encompasses the handling of diverse liquid commodities such as petroleum, oil, lubricants (POL), edible oils, chemicals, molasses, and various other liquid bulk capacities at the JN Port.

BPCL is anticipated to commence operations at the new berths in the latter part of January or early February, operating under terms and conditions similar to those applied to liquid berths 1 and 2, which it currently manages. This interim operational period is expected to span between 6-8 months, allowing sufficient time for the successful bidder, once determined, to comply with stipulated conditions, sign the concession agreement, and secure financial closure before officially taking over operations.

The investment in the pipeline infrastructure is projected to be recouped within a relatively short timeframe of 1-2 months, primarily owing to the revenue generation potential of the interim operational arrangement. The strategic intervention by BPCL is aimed at alleviating pressure on the existing liquid cargo berths, effectively catering to the increased demand for liquid cargo-handling capabilities. As part of JN Port’s expansion initiative, these additional berths are integral to meeting the growing demands of liquid commodities, with projections indicating a handling capacity of 4.46 million tonnes by the year 2029.

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