Sri Lanka’s fuel shortage will end on Nov. 9 says Petroleum Minister Arjuna
Thousands of Sri Lankan motorists formed long queues for fuel for a fourth straight day on Monday after CPC limited the supply last week following a delayed fuel shipment and rejection of another due to the wrong specifications.
The next shipment of 40,000 MT of fuel is expected on soon and the shortage could be addressed after immediate distribution. Once the shipment comes, the situation will return to normal.
There was a request by LIOC, a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation to accept an initially rejected 35,000 MT cargo after filtration, but authorities did not accept it, “in the interest of the Sri Lankan consumers”.
CPC trade unions, which are not in favour of LIOC operations in Sri Lanka, said the Indian firm has forced CPC to accept the rejected shipment while keeping the vessel on the eastern coast.
The Indian firm also said the delay in CPC’s shipment has “led to shortages of fuel across the country, particularly given that CPC caters to 84 percent of the Sri Lankan market”.
The petroleum ministry also said there was an interruption to the CPC’s Sapugaskanda refinery operations due to electrical failure, which resulted in a production loss for three days.
Trade unions at CPC have blamed a government deal to handover 99 oil tanks in the island’s eastern port city to LIOC for a lack of storage as the Indian firm is utilizing only 15 tanks and not allowing the CPC to use them for storage.
The current shortage also comes a month after LIOC said it would increase fuel prices because it was incurring a loss, though CPC said it would not raise prices. LIOC has not increased the price yet. Both have said they have been incurring losses on fuel sales.
Sri Lanka has agreed with India to jointly develop and operate all oil tanks in the oil storage facility located in Trincomalee near the world’s second deepest natural harbour. PWKD07112017