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Inland Waterways Authority inks pact with world”s largest gas carrier MOL

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on Thursday inked a pact with the world”s largest gas carrier MOL to facilitate transportation of LNG through Inland Waterways, the government said.
MOL Group is World’s largest gas carrier company and will invest in the construction and operation of dedicated LPG barges under the Make-in-India initiative of the Government of India.

“A Memorandum of Understanding is signed between IWAI and MOL (Asia Oceania) Pte Ltd for transportation of LPG (Liquified Natural Gas) through barges on National Waterways-1 and National Waterways-2, in the presence of Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shri Mansukh Mandaviya,” Ministry of Ports, Waterways and Shipping said in a statement.

Inland Waterways Authority of India will provide support for adequate fairway, handling of LPG cargo on IWAI terminals/ multimodal terminals at Haldia, Sahibganj and Varanasi on request of MOL, the statement said.

It will also provide Lease Available Depth (LAD) information on a fortnightly/ monthly basis.

The statement said Aegis Group has proposed investments for setting up storage terminals, dedicated pipelines between jetty to the terminal and necessary infrastructure at the jetty for the evacuation of products from barges.

Presently, 60 per cent of the LPG is moved through road to the various locations with a cost of Rs 5 to 6 per metric tonne per kilometre, the statement said adding at times, there are issues of strikes by transporters, road blockages which cause a delay in transportation.

“Therefore, the main area of interest for the companies is to use waterways to have a cheaper alternative to the existing model of transportation, which is also cleaner and greener mode. Also, there are some areas that are difficult to approach through rail/ road especially in the North-East Region where the IWT sector may provide usable solutions, besides the parcel size as compared to road trucks which can carry 17 MT (metric tonne) of LPG in case of barges shall be of bigger size depending on the barge leading to economies of scale,” the statement said.

Besides salient features of LPG over other commodities, is that LPG is a clean cargo with zero leakages and spillage as the products are handled by pipelines in a fully closed loop with utmost safety precautions.

LPG cargo needs less berthing time compared to any other bulk cargo, it said adding there is no requirement of conveyors, etc, installed on berths/ jetties.

“Handling LPG by inland waterways will help reduce the carbon footprints, lowering the overall logistics cost, which in India stands approx 13 to 14 per cent of GDP, compared to the global average of 8 per cent and contributing to government social schemes like “Ujjawla” for LPG supply.


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