LC issues delay fuel unloading: Energy Ministry denies reports of delays

By Asiri Fernando

Energy sector trade unionists claimed last week that there were delays in unloading fuel stocks from two shipments while the Ministry of Energy denied reports that two vessels carrying fuel were laying offshore without unloading fuel due to delays in issuing the relevant Letters of Credit (LCs).

Responding to a query by The Sunday Morning, Ministry of Energy Secretary K.D.R. Olga stated that the two vessels in question had arrived ahead of the planned unloading schedule and had to anchor offshore for two days as a result.

“The matter is already sorted out. The vessels are carrying diesel and petrol. They began to discharge their consignments on the evening of 31 December. I think one consignment is still being discharged today (1). The two vessels had arrived prior to their delivery date; therefore, they were waiting,” Olga told The Sunday Morning.  

However, highly-placed Government sources told The Sunday Morning there was a delay in issuing LCs, valued at $ 52 million, for the two shipments and that Bank of Ceylon (BoC) agreed to issue the LCs after the Central Bank of Sri Lanka intervened in the matter.

Meanwhile, Energy Trade Union (ETU) Convener Ananda Palitha claimed that there was a delay in unloading the fuel stocks in the two shipments.