Fuel crisis: Why is the IOC tanker still in Lankan waters?

Fuel crisis: Why is the IOC tanker still in Lankan waters?

Written by Lahiru Fernando

05 Nov, 2017 | 9:45 pm

Long queues remained at fuel stations across Sri Lanka for a third day today, November 5). What caused the sudden scarcity of fuel?

The situation was caused by insufficient stocks of fuel being supplied to filling stations.

November 4th report: What is the ‘real reason’ behind Sri Lanka’s sudden fuel shortage?

What the Government says;

Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum Resource Development told News 1st that the state has enough stocks of fuel to meet the daily requirement.

“We have ordered a shipment of fuel from the UAE and this ship will reach Sri Lanka in two days, so there is no way that a fuel shortage will arise. In addition we have reserves of about 9000 metric tonnes. The usual daily requirement is about 1800 to 2000 metric tonnes.” said Upali Marasinghe (Secretary – Ministry of Petroleum Resource Development)

But the Unions sang a different tune….

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s Sri Lanka Freedom Workers Union President says the IOC is deliberately keeping their Oil Tanker in Sri Lankan waters.

According to Union President Bandula Samankumara, IOC is attempting again to unload a rejected shipment of oil.

“I heard the Secretary say there is plenty of fuel. I wish to say this, if there are stocks of fuel, then our workers are bound to supply it to the public day and night. If there is fuel, then we ask that the people’s needs be met”,  he said.

Adding up to what Union President Samankumara had to say, the Union Secretary Jayantha Paraigama said:

“The other ship will only arrive on the night of the 8th. Normally, by the time the fuel is pumped to Kolonnawa and distributed, it will be the 10th. So we feel that the fuel we have will not last until then.”

Where are these ships?

Ship carrying CEYPETCO order (40,000 metric tonnes of fuel):

Location:

  • Arabian Sea, en-route to Sri Lanka
Tanker: Neverska Lady

Tanker: Neverska Lady

Ship carrying IOC order (allegedly substandard fuel):

Location:

  • October 29 – Near Tangalle
  • At Present – Off the Trincomalee coast.
Tanker: Torm Astrid

Tanker: Torm Astrid

News 1st’s attempts to contact the subject Minister Arjuna Ranatunga to make inquiries regarding the issue were unsuccessful.

People’s Voices

COLOMBO

“This is incitement. They have petrol but they are not supplying it.”

“I have spent three days on the road now looking for petrol. I have three children. Is this how you govern a country?”

GALLE

“There is no fuel in the motorcycle and I cannot get home.”

“We used up the stocks we received on Thursday by last evening. If we receive more supplies we can issue fuel.”

KURUNEGALA

“There is no fuel anywhere. There are boards everywhere saying ‘No Fuel’.”

Meanwhile parts of Kurunegala and Anuradhapura had received sufficient stocks of fuel.

But fuel stations say they might run out of fuel soon because of “people hoarding fuel in panic”

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