The Sapugaskanda oil refinery will shut down tomorrow for the first time in history due to a shortage of crude oil, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation's (CPC) Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya wing (JSS) Secretary Ananda Palitha said.
Addressing the media, he claimed that the Petroleum Minister did not have the strength to bring the required crude oil stocks into the country.
“The 100 percent kerosene requirement for the country was manufactured by us. Due to the closing of the refinery, there will be a shortage of kerosene in the country,” Palitha said.
The factories need a minimum of 1,800 metric tons of furnace oil to continue with their operations. Therefore, the government will have to import 2,000 metric tons of furnace oil. Only petrol and diesel are regular orders.
However, the country has sufficient petrol until January, but the Minister should say whether the diesel stocks will be received by the country after this month.
However, Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal Chairman Mohamed Uwais said that there are sufficient fuel reserves for another 15 days.
The crude oil suppliers did not respond to our tenders, and therefore the required crude oil stocks were not received by the country.
Mr. Uwais stated that they will take steps to import and distribute refined gasoline and diesel in the country.
“Our storage consists of diesel and petrol stocks, which are sufficient for a maximum of twelve days.” The ordered oil shipments are on the way. If there is a shortage of kerosene, we will take immediate measures to import refined kerosene stock into the country, “he said.
“After moving for the shutdown operation tomorrow, we will continue with our repairs at the refinery,” Mr. Uwais added. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)