The Ministry of Power and Energy imported ‘Urals’ crude oil instead of ‘Murban’ crude oil, causing the Sapugaskanda Refinery to suddenly malfunction, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation General Employees Union President Ashoka Ranwala alleged.
He said Murban crude oil is an internationally popular crude oil with no scarcity and he questioned why the Ministry imported substandard crude oil in this situation.
“Without importing Murban, as the Ministry is a slave to the Coral Energy Company, the Ministry was forced to import Urals oil, which caused the Sapugaskanda Refinery to fail. The Sapugaskanda Refinery’s plant is in serious disrepair due to chemical and corrosion damage. The crude oil, on the other hand, was imported. Three shipments were vouched for, but only one was delivered,” he claimed.
In addition, he said the refinery was started with only one shipment and that the crude oil gradually ran out before the second shipment was imported. “However, the second shipment of Urals crude oil, which arrived on 23 August, is still in Sri Lankan waters,” he said.
He added that the shipment is being cleared in stages. He inquired as to which country allows shipments to be cleared in this manner. According to Ranwala, this type of practise has led the international community to believe that Sri Lanka is a place where demurrage fees can be easily charged.
BY Thameenah Razeek