Ageing Sapugaskanda suffers partial breakdown

By Shiran Ranasinghe

The production in a section of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery came to a standstill following a breakdown of a boiler and, as a result, production of diesel has stopped.

A senior refinery official said that the guarantee period of the boiler was long past 15 years.

The Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery was commissioned in 1969 with Italian technology and it has been given a guarantee period of 20 years.

It has had four breakdowns in 2012 and three in 2013.

The refinery was built to process 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day and today its capacity has decreased to 35,000 barrels due to old age, he added.

One of its two boilers had been completely out of order during the last two years. Since there was no alternative boiler the whole production process as at a standstill, the source said.

However, the official said that steps were being taken to repair the boiler, but he was unable to tell how long it would take.

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