CPC runs up demurrage bill of more than Rs. 160 million

Since breakdown of buoy mounted pipeline

By Shiran Ranasinghe

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has run up a bill amounting to more than Rs.160 million in demurrage payments so far to two oil tankers stranded in Colombo due to their inability to discharge their cargo of crude as the buoy mounted pipeline at the port connecting to Sapugaskanda oil refinery has been damaged for more than a month, an assessment done by the Corporation has determined.

One tanker dropped anchor here on June 12, while the other has been waiting to unload its cargo since May 23. The demurrage charges are said to be running to about USD 30,000 per day.

The buoy broke down after the arrival of the first vessel, but if the CPC authorities had delayed the second shipment the Corporation would not have had to pay so much in demurrage charges, insiders said.

Sources alleged that the failure on the part of the CPC to cancel the second shipment was due to some officials’ greed for commissions from the shipping firms.

They said that so far the CPC had not paid any demurrage charges, but in terms of the shipping contracts it was liable.

Since the repair to the buoy mounted pipeline was getting delayed, the CPC has arranged for a smaller vessel from Singapore to come and unload those shipments to it and then transfer to land based tanks through a 12-inch pipeline. A top official said even such transfers would result in the CPC having to incur additional expense.

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