Country at risk of coming to grinding halt owing to delayed shipments

Country at risk of coming to grinding halt owing to delayed shipments

Country at risk of coming to grinding halt owing to delayed shipments

Written by Amani Nilar

23 Jun, 2022 | 7:53 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); The Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara stated earlier today (23) that the 92 octane Petrol Shipment which was supposed to arrive in the island have been delayed by another day.

Due to this, the Minister said that the distribution of petrol will be limited for two days, owing to this delay.

Minister of Power and Energy confirmed earlier that Letters of Credit has already being proceeded in regard to the petrol shipment that was supposed to arrive in the island this morning.

However, Petroleum Trade Unions revealed yesterday (22) that the supplier of this petrol consignment has made a precondition to call an international bank as a guarantee for the payment or the full payment to be made before the stock is delivered to the country.

The trade unions further revealed that the Sri Lankan Government attempted to bring The HSBC bank as the guarantee for this transaction, and the bank has refused their request.

Upon Inquiries made by News 1st, the Petroleum Cooperation said that the full payment has already been made on this fuel consignment.

Even though the country is yet to receive the petrol shipment which was supposed to arrive in the island today morning, the subject minister later on said that another petrol shipment is to arrive in the island tonight (23).

The Power and Energy minister said that this consignment, carrying 35,000 metric tons of petrol will reach tonight, and the unloading of this consignment will commence tomorrow (24).

However, only one fuel vessel, by the name AYOI, was seen close to Sri Lanka today. This vessel earlier set sail from India and is expected to arrive in the island tonight.

However the vessel shifted its route towards Indonesia, today (23) afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Spokesperson of the United Trade Front, Ananada Palitha alleged during a press conference that the Minister of Energy continues to lie. He said that despite the Minister’s assurances of diesel and petrol shipments, none arrived in the country, while a shortage in crude oil continues to remain in the country.

Palitha said that due to the shortage of crude oil, the refinery will have to be shut down again from tomorrow (24) evening onward, which will pave way for another kerosene shortage in the country.

“They don’t even have 1,500 metric tons of petrol in their stocks right now. And they are not ready to distribute this remaining stock. There won’t be any ship arriving today or tomorrow. The country will come to a complete standstill and we will lose more lives due to this crisis,” Palitha added.

Meanwhile, the Engineers association of the Petroleum Cooperation announced today (23) that the operations of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery will have to be halted tonight unless a confirmation can be given on the arrival of a crude oil shipment by the 28th or 29th of June.

The Association further said that although the subject minister promised on giving this confirmation by yesterday, they are yet to hear a word from him regarding this shipment.

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