Kolkata: The ship-to-ship (STS) LPG transfer between India and Bangladesh has successfully begun, opening a connectivity between Syama Prasad Mookerjee Port, Kolkata (SMPK), erstwhile Kolkata Port Trust, and Mongla Port.
The SMPK said it opened the "new chapter in cargo handling" by commencing STS operation on Saturday for LPG cargo bound for Bangladesh. It added that apart from ushering a new beginning in the Indo-Bangladesh relation, the development will also open connectivity between Kolkata Port and Mongla port of Bangladesh where the LPG cargo is bound for.
An STS operator, Pace Marine Solutions Pvt Ltd, approached SMPK with such a proposal around October-November in 2021 post commencement of successful operation of STS for LPG and other liquefied cargo bound for Haldia.
VLGC M T MIURA carrying 11666.335 MT of propane and 32848.804 MT of Butane from Trincomalee in Sri Lanka anchored at Sandheads at around 1.30 pm on Saturday and on completion of customs formalities commenced discharging cargo at 5.06 pm in LPG barge SENNA 7.
The operation will continue with four such LPG barges loading from M T MIURA and discharging at Mongla in a merry go round manner. M T MIURA will act as a floater for LPG cargo. In foul weather conditions, such an operation will be undertaken at Sagar.
The STS operation with floater and LPG barges was undertaken in Indonesia earlier and SMPK is the first major port in the country for undertaking such operation within its limits, said SMPK chairman Vinit Kumar.
He added that the port would earn vessel related and cargo related charges from the said operation. As a startup venture, the port has provided its tug for towing and placing Yokohama fenders for safe berthing of vessels in the sea. The tug will also act as a fire float.