CPC foils CEB’s move to import fuel directly

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BY Thameenah Razeek

Chairman of the CEB, M.C.C. Ferdinando said, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has refused to permit CEB to directly import fuel for use in thermal power plants. 

He claimed that, while the CEB received Cabinet approval to import fuel directly, it cannot do so due to the absence of a permit or licence from relevant authorities.

However, the then Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila had informed the Cabinet that they cannot permit the CEB to import fuel directly. Nevertheless, Gammanpila had said, he did not object to CEB’s move.

“It is illegal to have more than 40 gallons of diesel or petrol in your possession without a permit. Even though the Ministry of Energy granted us permission to import, we are unable to do so without a licence. We even got an importer to import fuel without opening any Letters of Credit, and the importer said we could pay him in rupees rather than US dollars,” Ferdinando explained.

At a press conference held at the Presidential Media Centre yesterday (31 March), he said, because they do not have the necessary permit, they have forwarded the importer’s details and related information to the CPC Chairman for further action.