BPCL, HPCL Approaches Petroleum Ministry To Allow Oil Imports By Chartered Vesselsadmin
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd sought the approval of Petroleum Ministry to allow them to charter ships for oil imports directly instead of going through Transchart, on lines of similar exemption given to Indian Oil Corporation. Both BPCL and HPCL contended that the flexibility of chartering their own vessels would bring benefits in terms of cost and time.
In April 2005, the Cabinet had granted permission to IOC to make shipping arrangements for importing crude on its own avoiding Transchart. While granting approval, the Cabinet had said that the arrangement would be reviews after one year. Similarly, a Cabinet nod is also required in the case BPCL and HPCL. Indications are that the Petroleum Ministry is favorably considering the proposal.
One of the conditions stipulated while giving permission to IOC was that it would follow all regulations relating to hiring of ships including those relating to Indian flag vessels and shipping on f.o.b. basis.
After granting import of oil on its own, IOC achieved a freight reduction of around Rs. 60 crores in voyage fixtures during June 2005-May 2006, compared to corresponding previous period. As per reports, IOC almost doubled the percentage of Indian tonnage in 2005-06, compared to the previous year, while following all regulations.