A ship carrying 75,000 metric tonnes of crude oil from Dubai arrived at the Colombo Port today and the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery will resume operations from tomorrow, a Petroleum Ministry spokesman said.
Meanwhile, speaking to Reuter news agency, General Manager of the CPC Susantha Silva said the refinery was shut on Oct. 26 after exhausting its supply of mainly Iranian crude oil
"We have received a 75,000-metric-tonne crude cargo and everything is arranged to unload," Silva said in an interview on Monday. "If all goes well, we'll be able to resume operations from tomorrow."
Silva declined to comment on the origin of the cargo, but an oil ministry official said it came from Dubai.
"The cargo came from Dubai the day before yesterday and everything is now ready to unload," the official said, on condition of anonymity.
He said the island nation would receive an 80,000 tonne crude cargo from Oman on Thursday, a 135,000 tonne cargo from Saudi Aramco Nov. 13-15 and another 135,000 tonne shipment in December.
Silva last week said the December shipment was from Abu Dhabi.
Exports from Iran, which is grappling with tough Western sanctions against its energy and petrochemical sectors, have fallen sharply as buyers struggle to pay for the oil and secure insurance cover for tankers to ship it.
Ceypetco has been having problems running the refinery at full capacity because alternative crudes such as Arabian light do not provide the proper yield, Silva said earlier.
The sanctions have so far compelled Sri Lanka's $59 billion economy to spend an extra $1.2 billion on oil imports, Oil Minister Susil Premajayantha told parliament last month.
Sri Lanka has reduced imports of Iranian crude by a fifth this year but disagrees with Western sanctions that are punishing countries that depend on the oil, Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris has said.
The country is now in talks with Iran to find a suitable payment method, because banks dealing with Iran have also been targeted by Western sanctions. Iran has not offered any discounts on its crude, Peiris said.
Ceypetco's Sapugaskanda refinery, on the outskirts of the capital, Colombo, was shut early in September also after damage to a floating pipeline at the Colombo port.