Refinery Fuels Controversy On Closure

Refinery Fuels Controversy On Closure

Refinery Fuels Controversy On Closure

Written by Zulfick Farzan

17 Nov, 2021 | 7:06 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Petroleum Trade Unions on Wednesday (17) protested opposite the now-temporarily shutdown Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, alleging the shutdown is the first step in selling off the national asset.

These Trade Unions were demanding the government expedite the process of importing crude to recommence operations at the Sapugaskada Oil Refinery, in Colombo.

President of the Petroleum General Employees Union Ashoka Ranwala stressed that Sri Lanka’s sovereignty depends on the very existence of the oil refinery, and there is a streamlined process for importing crude, which the government has ignored.

‘We can use this mechanism to determine the requirement for the future months,” he said.

He said the Trade Unions informed the officials at the CPC that crude supplies in all eight tanks at the refinery will be depleted by the 15th of November, however, the Minister and officials failed to address the issue and instead paved the way for conspiracies to act to make the refinery a loss-making entity.

However, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila on Wednesday (17) emphasized that the temporary shut down of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery will not impact the supply of fuel.

‘There is NO fuel shortage. Unfortunately, a person who lies as a profession is using media airtime to claim there is a shortage, and compelling the people to flood filling stations,” he told reporters.

He said a filling station maintains a two-day stock, and when a person who pumps fuel for Rs. 1000/- decides to pump a full tank of fuel, it would inevitably lead to a shortage at the respective filling station.

“Thereafter, the people will have to wait in line until the fuel truck reached the filling station with more fuel,” he said.

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