In fact, its in-chartering of Suezmax and Aframax tankers during the first six months of the current year has almost touched the chartering figure for the 12-month period last year.
The increase is attributed to the increase in crude movement through Transchart, which is likely to go past the 45 million metric tonne mark this year, Transchart chief controller of chartering TV Shanbhag said. The chartering wing had seen a crude movement of 33 million tonne last year by public sector refineries through them.
Transchart is the chartering wing of the Union ministry for shipping entrusted with the task of making shipping arrangements for importing government-owned and controlled cargoes on FOB (free on board) basis and exporting if any on C&F (cost and freight) basis.
During the first six months, 45 Suezmax tankers were chartered of which 28 were under Indian flags, while the rest were under foreign flags. Similarly, 48 Aframax tankers were chartered, of which 32 were Indian flags. In the previous year, 46 Suezmax and 50 Aframax tankers were chartered by Tanschart, Mr Shanbhag said.
Apart from crude, Transchart also charters vessels for coal, fertilisers and LPG. In totality, Transchart has chartered 402 vessels during the first six months of the current year for cargo of 30.05 million tonne as against 687 vessels during the year 2002-03 to transport cargo worth 51.22 million tonne. The year 2001-02 saw 471 vessels being chartered to transport 30.67 million tonne.