from the torrential rains which have claimed over three hundred lives in
Kerala, the state may face serious fuel shortage since the ships carrying
imported crude for the Cochin refinery is unable to berth at the Cochin port
due to bad weather.
least three ships carrying crude from Saudi Arabia and Iran are waiting in the
midstream unable to enter the port due to bad weather. Cochin airport has already been shut down for
the last few days and limited number of flights have started landing in the naval
vessels, including two very large crude oil carriers (VLCC) and one Suez Max
vessel, carrying more than 2 million barrels of crude oil, have been waiting to
unload the oil for 5 to 12 days, according to port sources.
The vessel Sri Vishnu carrying Saudi crude has been waiting to unload since
August 12, VLCCs Happiness I and Humanity, with Iranian oil on-board, have been
waiting in the midsteam off Kochi for nearly twelve days..
"It's very bad weather at the moment and the
rains are not subsiding...it's not clear when the vessels can discharge," said
the Port sources.
Kochi refinery which has a capacity of more than 260,000 barrels per day (bpd)
is located at Ambalamugai, near Kochi where torrential rains have left over
30,000 people homeless, destroyed crops and disrupted air, rail and road
traffic within the state for a week.
So far, 324 people have died from Kerala's worst
floods in a century.