Emirates National Oil Company (ENOC), which had allegedly supplied Sri Lanka with a stock of sub-standard diesel, had been blacklisted with immediate effect and would not be permitted to participate in future tenders, Minister of Petroleum Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.
The Minister also refuted media reports which said that the company was previously blacklisted.
The Minister said that the CPC would insist on the Emirati Company paying the additional costs, if incurred when re-purchasing fuel from another supplier.
“We can’t claim compensation because it is beyond the clauses of the contract. However, we will insist on them paying the extra charges if there is a price difference when we call for the next tender,” he said.
“If the lowest price quoted from any other applicant is higher than the price that we initially contracted to purchase from the company in question, we will demand that difference be paid,” he said.
A stock of 40,000 tonnes of diesel was rejected on June 22 after initial inspections at the Colombo port by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and independent inspectors found it below the required specifications.
When asked as to why the CPC accepted the tender that was initially submitted by the company despite the company being found guilty on a previous occasion of supplying ‘off- spec’ fuel, the Minister said the company had paid compensation.
“I was not the Minister at the time, but on the previous occasion when they had faulted they paid the Corporation compensation on their own accord and therefore were not blacklisted and were eligible to re-apply for tenders. During the call for this tender they had submitted the lowest price and the shortest lead time and the Tender Board together with the Procurement Committee decided to award the tender to them,” he said.
Speaking further the Minister said that the detection proved that the quality control systems within the CPC are working well.
“This detection showed us that the systems were in perfect order. Earlier there were times that the quality of fuel was known to be low only after they were unloaded or after they were released to the market. This time we detected prior to the stock even being unloaded,” he said.
The Minister said that the Corporation ensures a minimum stock level was maintained therefore there would be no shortage in diesel for consumers.
“We assure the quality of the fuel that is being released to the market. Therefore the consumer is guaranteed of quality fuel in the market,” he said. (Hafeel Farisz)