Minister says no fuel shortage despite closure of Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery

Minister says no fuel shortage despite closure of Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery

Written by Bella Dalima

26 Jun, 2014 | 10:02 pm

Minister of Petroleum Industries, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa says that the country will not experience a fuel shortage even though the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery remained closed from last week.

He points out s that the refinery was shut down for its annual maintenance activities. However, Petroleum Trade Unions charge that the refinery was forced to shut down following the rupture of a oil pipeline which carries crude oil from the oil tankers to the port.

The trade unions point out that it is more cost effective to refine crude oil in Sri Lanka than to purchase stocks of fuel. They point out that the CPC has had to incur a large loss due to the closure of the oil refinery on a number of occasions in the recent past.

Minister of Petroleum Industries, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said:

[quote]We had enough stocks of crude oil for the refinery, it was being pumped from ships. We had to close down the refinery last week for annual maintenance activities. However, we have enough consignments of fuel to meets the country ‘s demands for a month. As a result of this we will not face a fuel shortage during this period.[/quote]

Meanwhile, Petroleum Trade Unions charge that there was no way of supplying fuel to the refinery for nearly a month due to a rupture of an oil pipeline.

Chairman of Ceylon Petroleum Common Service Union, Ashoka Ranwala said:

[quote]A rupture was reported in the oil pipeline which connects the port and the ships, we haven’t been able to obtain crude oil from the 23rd of May as a result we have been forced to pay demurrage charges as well. We haven’t been able to obtain the crude oil from the oil tankers as a result of this the corporation pays nearly 2.5 million rupees a day.[/quote]

Minister, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said:

[quote]They have not informed us about having to pay any charges for the delay because this has been caused due to natural phenomenon. We have insured each consignment of fuel so we can speak with the insurance agents and reach a settlement. There is a possibility that we might have to pay, I am not denying it but they have not asked for it as yet.[/quote]

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