The Government, at yesterdays Cabinet meeting, had decided to handle the operation of the Trincomalee Upper Tank Farm as a joint venture between Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) in pursuance of an announcement made during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's to Sri Lanka in 2015.
The joint venture will help develop 30 tanks of the Upper Tank Farm.
Initially, the then UNP Government signed an agreement to hand over the Trincomalee Oil Tank Farm to LIOC for 35 years. However, the Prime Minister, in his note to the Cabinet, has reportedly, said that no such agreement had materialised up to now. However, the LIOC had used 14 tanks of the Lower Tank Farm since then.
The Upper Tank Farm consists of 84 tanks. In the note submitted to the Cabinet, it was observed that these tanks remain abandoned as of now. When Mr. Modi visited Sri Lanka, an announcement was made to form a Joint Task Force.
Against this backdrop, the Cabinet approved a paper on May 24, 2015. It was presented by Subject Minister Chandima Weerakkody. In this document he had sought to hand over the title and ownership of 16 tanks to the CPC. Yet, the government of India was not in favour of this Cabinet decision.
The latest Cabinet decision taken yesterday rescinds previous decisions with the proposal for a Joint Venture between the CPC and the LIOC to operate 30 tanks. (Kelum Bandara)