July 10, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan ship fuel suppliers in Colombo port are aiming to expand their market by selling bunkers to vessels passing the island, after the break-up of a monopoly lowered prices and boosted volumes, officials said. “We need to improve on that area,” said Kumar. “We need to look at an expanded market – at supplying bunkers to vessels which do not touch Colombo.”
Sri Lanka Shipping general manager Channa Abeygunawardena concurred, saying passing vessels presented a bigger market.
“We should be targeting ships passing Sri Lanka – thatâ€™s where the market is in the long run.” Right now, the suppliers cater mainly to ships calling at Colombo to either load or discharge cargo.
But a large number of vessels pass by the island, which is on the main trade route across the Indian Ocean, which present a potential market, bunker industry officials said.
Recently, two big suppliers, Lanka Indian Oil Corp., the Sri Lankan unit of Indian Oil Corporation, and Lanka Maritime Services, acquired more tanker vessels to supply fuel.
Lanka Maritime Services, part of the Sri Lanka Shipping group, bought an 8,800 DWT double-hull tanker to supplement its existing fleet of smaller vessels.
And Lanka IOC has j