Petroleum Ministry appoints three member Committee to probe low quality diesel

By Ravi Ladduwahetty

The Ministry of Petroleum Industries yesterday appointed a three member committee to probe low quality diesel released to the market last Friday.

Petroleum Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. H. Samaratunga on a directive by Minister Susil Premajayanth, has appointed the Ministry’s Chief Internal Auditor, a Mechanical Engineer and a Chemical Engineer both representing the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd to probe and report to him within a week, the events which led to the incident.

A Ministry spokesman said that samples had been dispatched to overseas laboratories as well for testing.

This follows news reports that cranes in the Colombo port, state run buses, trains and motor cars are stalling allegedly due to impurities in an imported consignment of diesel by it.

After five railway engines stalled due to the low quality diesel and the railway authorities have decided to use super diesel to prevent any future mishaps.

Officials said that there had been complaints that 14 gantry cranes in the Colombo port, fifteen state run buses, five trains and over 30 cars running on the Colombo – Galle Southern expressway had stalled due to the low quality diesel.

Petroleum Ministry Secretary Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga told ‘The Island’ that the CPC had dispatched a team of officials to Anuradhapura, Ambalangoda and Ambalantota to see what was wrong and said that he was awaiting a report.

CPC Managing Director Susantha Silva also said that he had received complaints over the phone but no written complaints had been made as of last night, he said, adding that further details had to wait till this morning.

Petroleum Ministry Media Secretary W. P. Rohan said that the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd. does the periodic checking of all imported diesel samples prior to distribution of stocks countrywide and those tests did not find any impurities.

He also said that there were oral complaints made over the phone but investigations could be launched in the event of written complaints being made. However, he denied speculation that samples had been sent to Dubai for testing.

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