Loss from leaked oil pipeline still to be estimated

by Shiran Ranasinghe

The loss suffered by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is yet to be estimated following the bursting of an old pipeline, 12 inches in diameter, which pumps fuel from the Harbour to the Kolonnawa Installation, at two places near the Mahawatte and Orugodawatte areas yesterday.

"We are not sure as yet whether the oil was diesel or kerosene," Media spokesman for the CPC Storage Terminal Limited Nissanka Jayawardena said.

He said that they had been informed by residents that there was oil spilling in Mahawatte yesterday morning and several hours later the people living near Orugodawatte flyover complained of the second spill.

A Singaporean ship, which brought a consignment of diesel and kerosene to the Colombo Harbour was unloading the cargo when the news of pipe line bursting came, he said adding that the unloading was suspended until further notice.

A senior officer of the CPC Storage Terminal Ltd. said that they used clamps and rubber tape to patch up the pipeline but the entire network of pipeline should be repaired immediately. The pipeline was very old and there were many holes in its entire length. He said that a similar oil spill was reported in the recent past from the Mahawatte, Bloemendhal and Kolonnawa areas. A project which was launched to re-lay the pipeline sometime back, had been suspended abruptly. A special consultant recruited for the purpose was being paid Rs 300,000 a month in addition to other benefits though the work has been suspended.

CPCSTL Chairman Maj. Gen M. R. W. Soyza said they had adequate stocks of petrol, diesel and kerosene sufficient for the country’s requirement for months to come.

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