The employees of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) today charged that there was a covert move by the Indian Oil Company (IOC) to fraudulently dump a substandard stock of 30, 000 metric tons of petrol in the domestic market, which was rejected as substandard.
While admitting that there was a 20% shortage of petrol supply in the domestic market due to a rejection of a stock of 30, 000 metric tons of petrol the said however, the CEYPETCO said it would manage to supply the full demand of petrol.
Minister Ranatunga made an appeal to motorists to use petrol sparingly until new stocks arrived and not to panic over the shortage.
The rejection of 30, 000 MTs of petrol due to quality failure at the laboratory tests has caused panic among motorists and long queues of motor vehicles were seen at filling stations islandwide in the last couple of days.
The General Secretary of the Ceylon Petroleum Common Workers’ Union (CPCWU) D. G. Rajakaruna said CEYPETCO prohibited the pumping of a shipment of 30, 000 metric tons of oil imported by the IOC on October 15 after it was found that the shipment was not up to the quality.
“The IOC gave an undertaking to CEYPETCO that the rejected shipment would be replaced with a fresh stock of petrol by October 30, which it failed to comply with. The IOC on October 27 simply said it could not replace the rejected stock with a new stock that led to the shortage,” Mr. Rajakaruna said.
Mr. Rajakaruna told the Daily Mirror that the next shipment of petrol was due at Colombo Port by Wednesday (8) and it would reach filling stations by late Thursday.
“We have valid reasons to believe that there is something fishy in this whole affair. The rejected shipment is still berthed at the Trincomalee harbour. We don’t know for what purpose.
“We have also information that the IOC management has met top officials of the Petroleum Resources Development Ministry, probably to woo them to agree to reaccept the rejected shipment. We also have no answer as to why the IOC suddenly said it could not replace the rejected petroleum shipment on time as promised with a fresh stock that created the shortage of petroleum in the market,” Mr. Rajakaruna added.
He said the crisis clearly manifests the necessity of CEYPETCO maintaining a buffer stock sufficient for at least one month of petroleum products as opposed to current two weeks of buffer stock.
“To have a sufficient buffer stock, the CYEPETCO needs a minimum of 15 tanks from Trincomalee tank farm. But the Government has failed to obtain at least ten tanks even after the Cabinet approval was granted to transfer ownership of 15 tanks to CEYPETCO.
“We are highly worried on the ability of the IOC that has only 20% of market share to cripple the domestic petrol market in this manner,” Mr. Rajakaruna lamented.
He also said the Government must immediately find an investor to upgrade and modernise the Sapugaskanda oil refinery, which is at its last stage of operation and produces only the half of the full capacity.
Mr. Rajakaruna in a letter to Petroleum Resources Development Minister Arjuna Ranatunga requested to conduct an inquiry on the suspicious behaviour of the IOC and its refusal to replace the rejected shipment of petrol on time and take punitive action if found the IOC had acted in a sabotaging manner. (Sandun A Jayasekera)
Comments - 16
Lokka Monday, 06 November 2017 06:59 AM
This government is deaf and blind when it comes to issues of national interest.
Petro Monday, 06 November 2017 07:52 AM
Fish and oil go together but, hope fish oil is not getting adulterated.
Jaliya Monday, 06 November 2017 08:22 AM
“We are highly worried on the ability of the IOC that has only 20% of market share to cripple the domestic petrol market in this manner,” Mr. Rajakaruna lamented.You shouldn't be worried but embarrassed that a 20% stake holder can cripple the other 80% and put people in panic. Is there a quality standard certificate of some sort that required to accompany the fuel stock that meets the end user quality standards ?
Premalal Monday, 06 November 2017 11:51 AM
Absolutely spot on Jaliya. It looks like this IOC saga is a red herring to cover up the delay in two shipments of CPC. The unions are happy to have a go at LIOC to divert attention from their own inefficiencies. CPC or IOC or anyone for that matter should be allowed monopolies.
ANTON Monday, 06 November 2017 08:28 AM
THESE DAYS ARJUNA IS BUSY INVESTIGATING SHORT COMINGS OF OUR CRICKET TEAM, NOT SHORTAGE OF FUEL.
Wildaku Monday, 06 November 2017 08:54 AM
The fishy part of the petrol shortage is that this shortage was created by the Ranatunga brothers so they can discharge the sub standard petrol, thereby filling their pockets with a few million Dollars - To hell with the poor motorists...
Jon Monday, 06 November 2017 09:47 AM
Remind me how long ago it was the Chinese plan to build a refinery was rejected to maintain the favour of the 2 dominant players in the sri lanka market?Is this action from IOC a warning to not do this again?
Lord Wolfstein Monday, 06 November 2017 10:36 AM
There are a lot of storage tanks idling. Why is there not sufficient stock at least for 3 month? Bad management.
Cool B Monday, 06 November 2017 10:43 AM
If they are saying there are enough petrol stocks in place, then why all these filling stations are closed saying no supplies ? Never seen utter disorganized government with these bunch of idiots.
Jagath Leanage Monday, 06 November 2017 11:18 AM
He knows how to play cricket only. Nothing else.
Premalal Monday, 06 November 2017 11:53 AM
See what happens when politicians try to run cricket and cricketers try to run politics
Jason Monday, 06 November 2017 01:01 PM
No comments from the PM or President on this issue...till today..what a joke
sobers Monday, 06 November 2017 04:41 PM
Senewi Monday, 06 November 2017 04:42 PM
This shows the repercussions of privatization.
armchair analyst Thursday, 09 November 2017 12:02 PM
Actually it's understandable WHY the 10 tanks are not used by the government. Has anyone who commented here actually SEEN these tanks? They require TOTAL RENNOVATION, which would cost almost as creating entirely new tanks. Say, would you use a 50 year old tanks that were actually built only to last the world war 2 (3-4 years) to store your fuel? lmao
parakrema Thursday, 09 November 2017 03:45 PM
I am sure there is a conspiracy to defame the govt. Today power supply at Gampaha was disrupted many times so that people queing for petrol could not get fuel from the sheds. Please set up an inquiry to establish why so many power disruptions occured in Gampaha.
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