Cashing in on its geographical location on the international sea route, Kochi Port is increasingly emerging as country's favorite bunker outlet and most competitive among its South Asian peers. In this connection the port is now contemplating to build 100-acre SEZ in Puthuvypeen to accommodate the future growth potential of bunker service covering the sale of fuel to ships heading to the sea, said an industry insider, adding that the bunker industry has been making strides in Kochi with the volumes exceeding 20%.
The industry is growing further in an eco-system of streamlined port operations, a supportive customs regime and favorable tax regime that permits floating storage, multiple shipment and rapid supplies on a short notice round the clock. Major players in the fuel marketing segment including HPCL, IOC, BPCL-Matrix are currently the main bunker suppliers in Kochi. Kochi has therefore played its part by providing LNG as the ship's bunker fuel after being the first port in India to handle containers in the 1970s. To further boost its bunker business, the port is going to host the second edition of international bunkering conference – Destination Cochin 2015 – starting from May 15, they added.