Written by Staff Writer
15 Jul, 2014 | 10:04 pm
The buoy used to unload crude oil from ships at the Colombo Harbour, which was non-functional for seventy days, has been repaired and is in operation again.
Following the conclusion of repair work, journalists were invited for an inspection tour on Monday.
The Minister of Petroleum Industries, officials of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and journalists embarked on the sea journey on Monday, to inspect the buoy used to unload crude oil, which was the subject of much controversy in the recent past.
Following the inspection of the buoy used to unload crude oil, the group visited the site of the buoy which is used to unload refined fuel.
After inspection tour, the subject Minister, expressed these views to the media.
“As a result of the lower pipe on the buoy bursting, we had a major problem with regard to unloading crude oil. It was repaired with great effort. About 50,000 metric tonnes of crude oil have been unloaded and they are continuing the task of unloading the rest. We are in a situation where we will be able to gradually receommence operations at the refinery from tomorrow.”
Journalists questioned the Minister on reports that the pipe that is being used at present is in fact one that was decommissioned twelve years ago.
Anura Priyadarshana replied: “There are several parts of this system. One is the upper pipe and the other is the lower pipe. For the upper pipe we used one that we had, which is functioning well. Our engineers have given us a guarantee. So there have been no problems. You need not worry. This will not happen again.”
Journalists also raised questions on whether a shortage of fuel would arise owing to both the crude and refined fuel buoys being inactive for several weeks.
Anura Yapa said: “It was said in various forums that we have a shortage of oil. There is no problem whatsoever. In truth there was a minor issue with regard to low suphur and high sulphur fuel because the refiner was inactive.”
He added: “We were able to resolve that problem during talks with the Electricity Board. We are providing both types to the CEB. A situation has not arisen where we have to supply them with diesel instead. We do not think that such a need will arise as we are keeping a close watch on our stocks.”
Answering a question minister also said: “It is a risky business and when we are working our thought process is always to not burden the people. We have never initiated a programme to charge the people for any losses incurred by us. Thereby there is no risk of a fuel price hike. “
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