Damaged pipeline  : CPC passes losses on to consumers,says UNP TU

Demurrage amounts to Rs. 200 mn

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The UNP trade union arm, Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (JSS), yesterday alleged that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) management had misled the Petroleum Industries Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa by giving him falsified reports.

Addressing the media in Colombo JSS Petroleum Corporation branch General Secretary Ananda Palitha stressed that there was a fuel shortage in the country due to the damaged pipeline connecting the Sapugaskanda refinery to the offshore anchorage buoy in Colombo port. That had completely stopped the operation of the refinery for more than a month, he said.

He also said that the CPC had incurred a loss of more than Rs. 200 million in demurrage payments so far as two ships at the Colombo Port had not been able to discharge their cargo of crude.

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, Palitha added.

Currently, there are two ships waiting at port to unload crude oil. One ship arrived in Colombo on June 12, while the other has been waiting to unload its cargo since May 23. Around USD 30,000 should be paid to the shippers.

"Now officials are trying to import fuel at high cost to prevent a fuel shortage and finally the public will have to pay for the CPC’s mismanagement by paying huge amount of money for fuel," he said.

"We have repeatedly asked the ministry and CPC to get an additional pipeline to use in case of damage to one. But, they were not concerned. Now, the people of this country have had to pay for the CPC’s mismanagement", he said.

"Now, the Minister is saying that the shutting down of the refinery doesn’t have a huge impact on the country’s fuel market. But Refinery produced 70 percent of the kerosene requirement in addition to furnace oil and aircraft fuel," the JSS General Secretary added.


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