Written by Zulfick Farzan
03 Jan, 2022 | 4:10 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan consumers continue to wait in line to purchase a domestic LP Gas Cylinder, as the gas shortage continues to take its toll.
“I’ve been in line since 4 AM,” said one consumer while reprimanding the rulers for enjoying a life of luxury and the common man being forced to wait in line.
A three-wheeler driver speaking to News 1st said after waiting in line for hours to purchase a gas cylinder, he has to travel to another vendor to also stay in line and purchase rice.
“They suggest using a kerosene cooker, but where can we buy kerosene from?,” he said.
For more than a month, Sri Lanka’s foreign currency crisis delayed in securing liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supplies to the country, as the local shortage continued impacting households islandwide.
This came in a backdrop where many households across the country were scrambling to find alternative fuels for cooking. Long queues for kerosene in the suburbs continued, as many rural folks switched back to wood-fired cooking.
However, local gas companies have expressed their commitment towards ensuring the supply to prevent any shortage in the local market.
At the same time, the Ministry of Power and Energy has decided to temporarily close the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery once again with effect January 3rd considering the difficulties in purchasing Crude Oil due to the prevailing Foreign Reserve crisis in the country.
Steps have been taken to import 90,000 metric tonnes of Crude Oil on credit basis, from a long-term Singapore contractor, Sumith Wijesinghe, the Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said.
According to the CPC Chairman, the shipment of Crude Oil is expected to reach Sri Lanka on the 23rd or 24th of this month.
Operations at the Sapugaskanda Refinery is expected to resume on the 26th of January, the Ministry of Power and Energy noted.
Meanwhile, the Government is planning to import jet fuel as an alternative to kerosene, says the Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, K.R. Olga.
Speaking to News 1st, the Secretary to the Ministry stated that the country’s current kerosene demand is being met via the Sapugaskanda refinery, however, if proven that it is unable to supply the necessary amount, jet fuel will be imported to the country as there is no large difference between the jet fuel and kerosene.
Adding that Sri Lanka has imported jet fuel for the past several months, the Secretary to the Ministry said that although the jet fuel is colorless in nature, it can be processed and dyed to meet the kerosene demand of the country.
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