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MOL Group to transport LPG through barges on inland waterways

Published: Feb 26, 2021

By TIOLCORPLAWS News Service

NEW DELHI, FEB 26, 2021: THE Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) on Thursday signed an agreement with MOL (Asia Oceania) for transporting Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) through barges on National Waterways-1 and National Waterways-2.

The world's largest gas carrier, MOL Group will invest for construction and operation of dedicated LPG barges under the government's ‘Make in India' initiative, said the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways.

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

"Therefore, the main area of interest for the companies is to use waterways to have a cheaper alternative to the existing mode of transportation, which is also cleaner and greener mode," it added. "There are some areas which are difficult to approach through rail and road especially in the northeast region where inland waterways may provide usable solutions."

The ministry said the parcel size for barges may be bigger, depending on the size of the barge, when compared to road trucks which can carry 17 tonne of LPG, leading to economies of scale.

Handling LPG by inland waterways will help reduce the carbon footprints, lowering the overall logistics cost, which in India stands approximately 13 to 14 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to global average of 8 per cent.

The IWAI will facilitate adequate fairway and provide Lease Available Depth (LAD) information on fortnightly or monthly basis. It will also handle the LPG cargo at terminals in Haldia, Sahibganj and Varanasi as per notified provisions and rates on the request of MOL.

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

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