Minister vows to grant Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery contract  to “most suited, best qualified” amidst corruption expose

Minister vows to grant Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery contract to “most suited, best qualified” amidst corruption expose

Minister vows to grant Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery contract to “most suited, best qualified” amidst corruption expose

Written by Staff Writer

15 May, 2016 | 9:25 pm

The Ceylon Today newspaper reports that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is planning to award the contract to repair and modify the Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery to an Indian company, without calling for open tenders.

In a special expose, the paper reports that a group of senior officials who have allegedly obtained bribes from the Indian company in question, are attempting to hand the contract to the company.

In its Sunday publication, the Ceylon Today reports that the Indian company is planning to repair the refinery at a low standard, without following the open tender procedure.

The newspaper goes on to say that the Indian company had carried out a study on a repair that needed to be done at the oil refinery in 2013, without following the tender procedure.

Incidentally, that too was supported by the same group of officials.

According to the Ceylon Today expose, since 2013 the Indian company in question has been tinkering with the Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery.

The newspaper adds that the company wants to maintain the contract by merely tinkering with the refinery.

In its report the Ceylon Today adds that the Indian company is showing videos of refineries in other countries which had exploded during overhaul, to frighten certain senior officials at the CPC.

However, commenting on this issue Minister of Petroleum Resource Development Chandima Weerakkody said that a report was submitted at the monthly progress review meeting of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the report noted that two units were in a dilapidated condition and that there is the possibility of an explosion during attempts to overhaul the units, and thereby, preliminary steps would be taken to repair certain parts.

The Minister also said that if there’s evidence on irregularities or illegal actions, then they will not hesitate to take action adding that he guarantees that the tender to repair the oil refinery will be given to the most suited, best qualified and most cost effective bidder, through an open and competitive tender process.

Built in August 1969, the Sapugaskanda Petroleum Refinery was expected to refine two million metric tonnes of crude oil a year.

However, due to the lack of maintenance at the refinery for over 40 years, its efficiency has declined.

Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Chandima Weerakkody said that repairing the refinery could save a sum of over 350 million US dollars a year.

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