Conference on the Outlook for India’s Seaborne Oil, Bulk Liquids and Gas Tanker Trade organised on June 5, 2014 in Mumbai saw experts from the shipping industry coming together and sharing their views on various subjects. Perspectives from ship-owners, charterers, public sector undertaking, ports and terminals, shipbrokers, P&I clubs were highlighted at the conference. Mr. Varun Arya, Director, Arya Group highlighted the challenges faced by a new Indian shipowner. Inspite of the fact that there is 100% direct FDI allowed, India has not been able to attract investment in this sector.
The first session was chaired by Mr. Vijay Handa, Senior Vice President- Chartering, Reliance Industries limited. He has served this industry for nearly 34 years.
Mr Nayan Nilkanth from The Great Eastern Shipping Co Ltd, delivered his presentation on 'Transformation of Crude and Products markets' over the years. He pointed out that non-OECD nations now consume more oil products than OECD nations. BRIC nations are leading the way in demand. Global energy trade is re-oriented from the Atlantic basin to the Asia-Pacific region. There is rise in new refinery capacity. He further talked about how US crude imports reduction is altering world seaborne movement of crude and products. New building contracting has fallen, current oversupply of tonnage is squeezing earnings, breakeven is almost close to opex.
Mr. Rajeev Kumar, from Hindustan Petrolem Corporation Ltd presented his talk on 'Oil & Gas Tankers Trade in India: A Charterer’s Perspective'. Mr. Rajeev Kumar expressed during his presentation what were the expectations of the charterers from shipowners and how to achieve a win- win situation. He received huge applaud from the audience when he said 'Our Business by Our Ships'. Though it is still a distant dream.
Mr. Dharmesh Singh and P. Harindranath from Indian Oil Corporation gave a joint presentation on 'Outlook for Oil Industry in India'. They informed the audience about oil industry network in India, links in supply chain management. They also presented demand projections and raised issues like port infrastructure and shortage of tanker fleet POL/ LPG tankers.
Mr. Vijay Handa summed up the first session and emphasized that it is important that the speed of the vessel must be correctly declared by owners. He also emphasized that there is a inventory cost of the cargo attached so the transit time makes a lot of difference and speed of the vessel is of utmost importance.
Mr Sabyasachi Hajara, Chief Advisor, Doehle Danautic India Pvt Ltd and former Chairman & Managing Director, The Shipping Corporation of India and Past President, INSA, chaired the second session. During his tenure as Managing Director of SCI, recognizing the performance of the company, the Government of India conferred the coveted 'Navratna' status on SCI in August, 2008. Mr. Hajara emphasized on the need to invest in infrastructure development. To reduce carbon emission by 20%, it is essential that domestic freight transportation be diverted to coastal shipping and IWT. He said the investment in rail or road transportation has been huge as compared to coastal shipping and IWT.
Mr. Varun Arya, Director, Arya Group highlighted the challenges faced by a new Indian shipowner. He talked of challenges in terms of employment of the ship in India, state of coastal shipping, taxes and duties, tonnage tax, high cost of bunkers in India, manning the Indian flagged vessels, financing the purchase of vessels…to name a few. He asked the gathering 'Do we expect Indian Ship Owning to grow?'
Capt Anil Kishore Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Adani Hazira Port Pvt Ltd, delivered his presentation on 'Tankers – Port Interface'. He discussed recent trends in tanker business and economics. He informed the audience that BIMCO forecasts that the global crude tanker fleet, which includes VLCCs, will grow by 3.3% this year. He also touched upon POL movement in India at major & non-major ports, future trends, refinery and pipelines. He also discussed future trends for chemical industry output. Indian chemical exports are rising over the years. Chemicals constituted 5.2% of the total exports in FY13. Chemical trade is growing at a rapid pace. India needs specialized terminals with more dock lines to cater to multiple small parcels on a typical chemical tanker. Inadequate port facilities result in high demurrage cost & increased turnaround time for vessels.
Capt Vivek Singh Anand, General Manager- All India Operations, NYK Line (India) Ltd presented his talks on 'Outlook for Indian Gas Tanker Trade'. He talked about the huge potentials in the gas tanker trade in the coming years and the requirement for the trained professionals to run these tankers.
Mr Sanjay Shesh, Managing Director, Accord Marine Management Ltd, chaired the third session.
Mr Chandan Samaiyar, Country Head- India, Glander International Bunkering DMCC, delivered his talk on 'The changing face of Indian Bunkering'. He informed the audience that bunker business has gone though a sea change over the last one decade and bunkers confirming to international standards are now supplied at Indian ports and the prices also have reduced over the years, c ompeting with major bunker supply ports, due to removal/ reduction of VAT in several states. Infrastructure in terms of availability of barges and products has improved significantly.
Mr Jayabrata Deb, who recently retired from Slolt Tankers after having served as General Manager for nearly 15 years, delivered his presentation on 'Challenges in Bulk Liquid Chemical Transportation'. His talk focused on parcel tanker business, growth of liquid chemical imports into india, gaps in the logistics chain, challenges faced by stakeholders. He informed the audience that bulk chemical imports grew at 11% CAGR between 2001 to 2013. Kandla and Mumbai ports contribute to over 50% of bulk chemical imports.
Mr Amit Oza, Director, Astramar Shipping & Trading Services Pvt Ltd, delivered his presentation on 'Chemical Tanker Market in Indian Context'. He informed the audience that value of bulk liquid chemical trade has increased to USD11.8bn in 2012 from 5.4bn in 2007, an increase of118.5%. Palm oil imports have increased to over 8mn tons in 2013/ 14. Key chemical import includes methanol, phenol and acetic acid, all growing at a rate of over 160%. There is potential for Indian equity to enter the owning space in a significant manner, provided it finds the right platform. End users of freight services currently buying on C&F basis, face increased freight rates in future and have to develop expertise to buy FOB and undertake freighting.
Mr. Sanjay Shesh initiated an open debate on the current status of chemical tanker industry in India and why there has been sharp decline in the last five years. Joining the discussion Mr. Sudesh Kamat, Head-Odfjell (Indian Subcontinent) and Ms. Rachna Sood from Reliance Industries Ltd. expressed their views. Mr. Kamat mentioned that one of the biggest challenges we face is in terms of 'consolidation of cargo'. The chemical tanker parcel trade is based on minimum number of load ports and minimum number of loading berths, similarly minimum number of discharge berths/ ports. The more number of berths and ports you add, the less it starts making business sense. Though we see a lot of ports coming up in India, but from a chemical tanker industry perspective, there is no cargo consolidation. The cargo is getting split over several ports. So the economy of scale of given port with higher volume is slowly diminishing. With the increase in number of ports that the vessel has to call, it becomes a bigger challenge. Some cargo consolidation has to take place.
Mr T V Shanbhag, Ex Chief Controller of Chartering, Govt of India, chaired the last session of the conference.
Mr Sanjeev Panicker, Business Development Manager, DNV.GL, LNG speaking on 'Powering the Future of Shipping' emphasized that the availability of natural gas will have a large impact on the global energy mix and the global marine fuel mix. He pointed out that reducing the cost of transportation is a key driver for alternative fuels. LNG can ensure regulatory compliance and reduced fuel costs.
Mr Sumit Madhu, Claim Executive, Thomas Miller P & I Europe Ltd, delivered his presentation 'Expansion, Risk and Mutuality'. He talked about India’s current economic growth, energy demand expected to reach 1,464 m tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE) by 2035 from 559 MTOE in 2011. Share in global primary energy consumption is expected to increase two-fold by 2035. Oil consumption estimated to reach 4mbpd- imports accounted for approximately 80% of total oil demand. Domestic oil output anticipated to grow to 1 mbpd . He informed the audience about the increased risk and legislation world over. He talked about 'Mutuality: Sharing of Risk by Like Minded Owners'. The availability of natural gas will have a large impact on the global energy mix and the global marine fuel mix.
Mr T V Shanbhag summed up the proceeding of all the sessions towards the end of the conference