The Haldia Dock Complex under Kolkata Port Trust has recently earmarked about 10 acres of land in the vicinity of Haldia Oil Jetty No 1 for a period of 30 years for setting up of LNG storage facilities with permission to lay pipelines and install unloading arms through tender cum auction. The project will be undertaken on land lease model by granting lease of land by middle of December, 2016. LNG facilities are expected to be developed within 24 months from date of allotment of land.
This is an important development in context of the recent efforts of the Ministry of Shipping to reduce logistics cost and achieve the COP21 targets on cutting down pollution by introducing the use of LNG as fuel for barges. Use of LNG is expected to save around 20 percent on fuel. Carbon Dioxide emissions are likely to get reduced by 20-25 percent and nitrogen/sulphur oxide emissions by 90 per cent. The government is therefore taking measures to facilitate the movement of LNG and its storage at places situated along the inland waterways.
Only a few advanced countries are using LNG powered barges at present. Therefore in that sense, the development at Haldia Dock Complex can be seen as a very positive one. The efforts to introduce LNG as barge fuel is part of the overall efforts to promote transport on inland waterways and coastal shipping. Inland Water Transport (IWT) is a cost effective and environment friendly system and a lot of importance is being accorded to it since the last two years.