Liquid bulk trade sees rapid growth
Importers and exporters of the liquid bulk trade in India are bullish and have major expansion plans
It is time for big investment as the country is experiencing an economic turnaround. This was the sentiments expressed at the 13 Annual celebration of the All India Liquid Bulk Importers & Exporters Association (AILBIEA) that took place last week. Considered a major event and an effective and integrated pan-India forum for all stake holders – corporates, importers, exporters, service providers and others in liquid bulk trade the occasion offered an opportunity to showcase the progress made in various spheres.
Held on 28 March, 2014 the function saw a wide turnout with many dignitaries from ministries of shipping, finance as well as others from the oil & gas, petroleum and chemicals sectors attending the event. Milind Deora, Union Minister for State and Communication, government of India was there despite the general elections being round the corner and expressed his staunch support to the importing and exporting trade. He disclosed the several changes his ministry had brought about in order to accelerate development and bring about policy changes that were designed to benefit the trade.
“There has been lot of changes in the last few years,” Mr Deora said. “At the ministry level we have completely reformed the archaic policies, even that of the Tariff Regulatory Authority for Major ports (TAMP). We have changed the policies to make major ports as competitive as private and state run ports. Already, this has impacted the bidding process as has been seen during the recent bidding process of the 4 Container Terminal of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) that was clinched by the Singapore’s PSA International.”
He also went to state that his ministry has been able to radically transform not just the capacity of the major ports but also raise their quality and efficiency. He pointed out that another major development was the introduction of the “Policy Guidelines” for 12 major ports in the country that will help the ports to undertake various development projects on a tender-cum-auction basis.
Speakers representing the Liquid Bulk Importers & Exporters trade expressed confidence about the business growth prospects. G. Chandrasekhar-Advisor to the Association gave a lucid presentation on liquid bulk scenario for the next five years. He kept the dignitaries and the audience spell bound with his analytical forecasts. Jayyant Lapsiaa, President of AILBIEA-welcomed the gathering and stressed home the point that those in the agriculture, health and other related sectors should provide a level playing field to all the EXIM players and to root out red tapism, corruption, mind boggling delays and drastically reduce the transaction costs. He particularly desired the creation of a separate ministry for EXIM TRADE, which would incorporate commerce, finance, shipping and logistics. There was a consensus that subdued growth that has been witnessed over the past two years is likely to see a transformation as the most members of the trade had chalked out major expansion plans.
Raj K. Chandaria, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Aegis Logistics, one of the largest importers of liquid bulk in the country and India’s leading provider of logistics services to the oil, gas, and chemical industry stated,” Despite the ups and downs we at Aegis are fundamentally bullish on the economic outlook and in this situation we propose to increase our tank capacity from the present 4,00,000 cubic meters spread over four ports to 1 million cubic meters at eight ports. This indicates our confidence we have not only in the industry but also the policy that is being implemented.”
Aegis Group according to Mr. Chandaria owns and operates a network of shore based tank farm installations for the receipt and handling of bulk liquids. These terminals are located in Mumbai, Kochi, Pipavav and Haldia, and are connected by pipelines to various berths for handling the export and import of hazardous chemicals, petroleum products, and petrochemicals.