Back-up plans put in place – Minister

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If private bowser owners stop providing services, the Ministry of Power and Energy has put in place back-up plans to ensure that fuel distribution continues uninterrupted.

Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekara said, the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) has been directed to open registration for new suppliers to transport fuel immediately and to cancel the registration of those who fail to report for duty.

He added that trains, State-owned fuel stations, and privately-hired bowsers that are not on strike will continue providing fuel distribution services.

On 30 April, 381 bowsers were used for deliveries, including 84 government-owned bowsers, 103 fuel station bowsers, and 194 hired bowsers that were not on strike.

“Sufficient stocks of auto diesel, super diesel, 92 octane petrol, and kerosene are in hand and being distributed to filling stations. However, only a limited supply of 95 Octane Petrol is being made available to the market.

The rates for hired fuel bowsers have been adjusted five times since July 2021, an increase of 84 percent using an agreed-upon formula,” he said.

The Sri Lanka Petroleum Private Tanker Owners’ Association announced on 30 April that it would withdraw from fuel transport services with effect from midnight that day, seeking an increase in transport charges in line with the increase in fuel prices.

BY Thameenah Razeek