Trinco Oil Tank Saga: Is the IOC remaining in China Bay illegally? (Video)

Trinco Oil Tank Saga: Is the IOC remaining in China Bay illegally? (Video)

Written by Lahiru Fernando

09 Apr, 2017 | 10:30 pm

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation should take steps to acquire Oil Tank premises in Trincomalee, says the CEYPETCO Trade Union Collective. Why? The Trade Union claims that the agreement to handover the tanks to Indian Oil Corporation is invalid.

The Unions’s convener has warned of a trade union action in case the premises is not acquired by CEYPETCO.

The harbour and its oil tanks

The Trincomalee Harbour is the second deepest ‘natural deep water harbour’ in the world. Adjacent to China Bay are the oil storage tanks of the harbour -built by the British in 1930.

The complex comprises of;

  • Tanks in total: 102
  • Functional Tanks: 99
         – Lower Complex: 14 tanks
         – Upper complex: 85 tanks
  • Tank capacity: 12,500 cubic meters each

In 2003, the tanks were entrusted to the Indian Oil Corporation as per a memorandum of understanding between CEYPETCO and IOC.

However, according to Union convener D.J. Rajakaruna, the agreement was “temporary and  a proper tax agreement should be introduced within 6 months”

Therefore, according to Rajakaruna,  IOC is remaining in China Bay in an illegal capacity.

“A serious situation”

Rajakaruna says that to-date ships did not have permission to store oil in the China Bay terminal. “Now they are building the necessary pipelines thinking they have the permission. Now they are trying to store furnace oil there”,  said the Union convener.

The Trade Union says that it is a serious situation as it could result in the closure of CEYPETCO.

“Ranil Wickremesinghe may be thinking that this is an inheritance from his mother or father, but this is a national resource”, said the CEYPETCO Trade Union Collective.

A petition at the Supreme Court

Recently, the Union filed a petition at the Supreme Court claiming that providing the China Bay Oil storage complex to IOC is a violation of the fundamental rights of the citizenry.

June 29, 2017 has been set as the date to take up the case at Courts.

Meanwhile, Subject Minister Chandima Weerakkody says that an agreement has been reached to acquire ten of the tanks in China Bay for Sri Lanka.

The minister says that an agreement has been reached to develop the storage terminal for use by both countries.

The Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises had previously informed CEYPETCO that the oil storage terminal in China Bay Trincomalee should be acquired by CEYPETCO as the agreement to handover the premises to IOC is invalid.

Watch  video below for more:

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