Written by Staff Writer
27 Jul, 2014 | 10:40 pm
Trade unions allege that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has incurred a loss running into more than Rs. 800 million as a result of problems experienced recently with the two buoys used to pump fuel from the harbour to storage terminals.
Secretary of the CPC branch of the Jathika Sewaka Sangamaya, Ananda Palitha, accused the government of attempting to place the burden of this loss on the public.
[quote]The total loss is in excess of 800 million. Although the refinery is at minimum, the daily loss is about 20 million. It is twice that amount since there are 1,200 permanent employees. There are another 800 contracted employees. There is the electricity and water bill and to add to that the refinery cannot be left idle. If you look at all of these costs, the minimum is about 50 million. Although it is mentioned as 20 million, the cost of keeping the refinery closed is about 600 million and surcharges have to be paid in excess of 600 million. All in all, calculations show that even with the relief given, the loss is in excess of 800 million.[/quote]
However, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, the Minister of Petroleum Industries, accuses the unions of making false statements to achieve political ends.
[quote]I will not accept this. The petroleum unions must realize that these incidents are the result of a natural disaster. Thereby, there is no way in which we could incur such a massive loss. We already had oil stocks amounting to more that 350 million dollars at sea. The biggest problem we were facing is unloading this fuel. We took whatever steps we could to resolve this problem. Accidents and problems with the buoys can arise at any moment.[/quote]
Ananda Palitha, meanwhile, noted that an additional cost is being borne for a small vessel that has been commissioned to unload crude oil.
[quote]Crude oil is being transported from the vessel city line onto another vessel and is being brought to the refinery via Dolphin Jetty. A ship was commissioned for this purpose. According to what we know, it has been commissioned for a month and the minimum expenditure per day is 15,000 dollars — 14 days have lapsed. Until today, they have been unable to get even a teardrop’s worth of the 40,000 metric tonnes of crude oil onto the smaller ship. They have paid 15,000 dollars per day for the ship and are now preparing to send it back. Whose money are they spending?[/quote]
Speaking further on the matter, Minister of Petroleum Industries, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa stated:
[quote]No, we have not even paid five cents. This would happen following talks between the shipping company and us. Since this was the result of natural causes we can hold discussions regarding factors like surcharges.[/quote]
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