Long queues were reported outside filling stations in several areas both in Colombo and the outstations due to an apparent shortfall of stocks in filling stations run by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).
CPC Trade Unions told the Daily Mirror that one shipment of 30,000 metric tonnes of petrol brought down by the Indian Oil Company (IOC) had been rejected due to an issue relating to its standard after some iron dust was found mixed with the petrol stock during its sample testing, probably resulting in the shortage.
“The next petrol stock was scheduled to arrive in the country on November 8. Therefore, there is a possibility of fuel shortage in filling stations until then,” a union official claimed.
The Fuel Dealers’ Association claimed some filling stations had been forced to close their petrol pumps as they had not received petrol stocks from the CPC since Thursday.
“We had placed four orders for petrol in view of the long weekend, but we are yet to receive them,” a spokesman for the association said.
Further he said Kolonnawa refinery had 7,000 metric tonnes of petrol and the Muthurajawela had 4,000 metric tonnes by October 31 and around 3,000 metric tonnes of petrol are used per day.
Meanwhile, it was reported that most of the CPC employees were on leave on Friday (Poya) for the long weekend which might have worsened the situation, he added.
However, the CPC had not made any statement over the prevailing petrol shortage. (Chaturanga Pradeep and Thilanka Kanakarathna)