Sapugaskanda to recommence tomorrow

By Buddhika Samaraweera 

Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila has stated that operations of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, which were temporarily suspended on 15 November, is scheduled to recommence tomorrow (7).

On 15 November, Energy Minister Gammanpila said the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery would be temporarily closed for a period of 50 days as the country’s limited foreign exchange needs to be utilised for the importation of other essential items, while the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) trade unions suggested that this move could drive up fuel-related costs instead of reducing them.

However, the Energy Minister stated on his official Facebook page yesterday (5) that operations of the oil refinery would resume on 7 December. As such, this will only be the 22nd day since the halt of operations of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery.

Furthermore, when inquired about the impact of this temporary closure on the by-products produced at the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, Ministry of Energy Secretary K.D.R. Olga stated that it has only had a significant impact on Jet A-1 fuel and kerosene.

“This has had some effect on Jet A-1 fuel and kerosene. Considering the matter, arrangements have been made to import them as finished goods without any shortage,” she explained.

In addition, she said that by-products such as furnace oil and chemical naphtha were also manufactured at the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, adding that the halt in the production process, however, would not have a major impact on such products.