Fuel supply: Part payments made for 2 consignments

  • One diesel and one petrol shipment due

By Asiri Fernando

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has made part payments for two fuel shipments, which are expected to arrive in Sri Lanka within 10 days, The Sunday Morning learns.

According to CPC sources, one of the two shipments, carrying 31,000 MT of petrol, is expected to arrive by the end of this week. The other, carrying 40,000 MT of diesel, is expected to arrive off the Colombo Port within the next 10 days.

Ministry of Power and Energy Secretary M.P.D.U.K. Mapa Pathirana confirmed that part payments had been made for both consignments. 

According to CPC sources, the amount of fuel being distributed per day in Sri Lanka has been approximately 3,000 MT of petrol and 4,000 MT of diesel.

Sri Lanka has been rationing fuel supply to the market, with a focus on keeping public transport and essential services operational.  

According to the Power and Energy Ministry, Sri Lanka on average needs approximately $ 600 million to import fuel required for transportation, power generation, and industry. However, in May this year, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) informed the CPC that the State could only provide up to $ 200 million per month for fuel imports due to the prevailing economic crisis and dollar shortage.  

Two crude oil shipments expected

Sri Lanka has also placed an order for two shipments of crude oil which are expected to arrive this month, according to Ministry of Power and Energy Secretary M.P.D.U.K. Mapa Pathirana.

However, he was unwilling to comment on the volume of the consignments without checking on the data with the CPC. 

“I believe one shipment is 700,000 barrels of crude oil and the other is 900,000. I don’t have the figures with me at present,” he told The Sunday Morning.

Pathirana said that payments for the crude oil would be made in rupees to a local account once the consignments arrived in Sri Lanka.

The Central Bank is expected to convert the rupee value of the consignments to US Dollars after several weeks for the payment to be fulfilled.

Pathirana declined to comment on the value of the two consignments, except to say that it would depend on the market price at the time the vessels arrived.

The Sapugaskanda Refinery currently remains inoperational with no crude oil to process. 

Last month, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told Parliament that it was cheaper to import crude oil and refine it locally than to import the petroleum products in the form of petrol, diesel, and kerosene. 

Attempts to contact the CPC Chairman and the Minister of Power and Energy on future fuel imports and funding to pay for them failed.