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CPC questioned over failure to order fuel on time and the missing oil tanker

The senior management of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has been questioned by the President and Finance Ministry as to why a fuel shipment has not been ordered before June 22 and the reasons behind the failure of the 40,000 MT fuel tanker’s arrival at the Colombo Port on June 22 -23 Official sources said.

Finance Ministry expressed dismay on the delay of the CPC to place an order for fuel before June 22 even after being informed that the funds are ready to be released by the treasury


In a meeting held last week between the President, treasury officials and CPC management, the CPC was asked to explain as to why an order had not been placed for fuel at its earliest despite the funds being ready for immediate purchase.

the CPC had replied that the premiums to be paid were high which is why they were awaiting the next fuel shipment to arrive on July 22.

The discussion then led to a heated argument with treasury officials questioning the CPC as to how they could consider high premiums as an excuse when the CPC had run out of fuel leading to the country coming to a virtual halt.

The CPC was also informed that when they attempted to pay lesser premiums and place an order last month, the vessel never arrived which led to the severe shortage across the country.

Finance Ministry officials also questioned the CPC as to why they were now delaying placing the new orders when the treasury was ready to release the funds, including the premium fee to get a fuel shipment from a reputed company as soon as possible.

As of last evening, that the next fuel shipment is due to arrive only on June 22 by which time the country will come to a complete halt. No fresh orders have been placed before that leading to a query as to why the shipment was not being ordered now that the funds were in hand,Official sources said. .

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week instructed the treasury to immediately release the funds to place an order for the fuel shipment without further delay as millions continue to languish in queues outside fuel stations for days.

The very first shipment of 40,000 metric tons of petrol ordered by one of the six suppliers as the initial step of this plan scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on June 23 was delayed by almost two days and it was seen moving away from the Colombo Port, CPC official said.

Thereafter Sri Lanka government restricted fuel supplies and requested residents countrywide to stay home imposing unofficial lock down with public transport coming to a standstill as the oil stocks at Ceypetco dropped to very low level.

The stock position of fuel at storage complexes of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) at present was around 1,100 tonnes of petrol and 7,500 tonnes of diesel only sufficient for a day, senior energy ministry official said and it was confirmed by CPC sources.

Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera has given several assurances to the people confirming the arrival of this shipment on June 22-23 finally admitting that this deal will not materialise without giving any dates for other shipments scheduled to arrive in the island.

The very first shipment of 40,000 metric tons of petrol ordered by one of the six suppliers as the initial step of this plan scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on June 23 was delayed by almost two days and it was seen moving away from the Colombo Port, CPC official said.

Thereafter Sri Lanka government restricted fuel supplies and requested residents countrywide to stay home imposing unofficial lock down with public transport coming to a standstill as the oil stocks at Ceypetco dropped to very low level.

The stock position of fuel at storage complexes of Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) at present was around 1,100 tonnes of petrol and 7,500 tonnes of diesel only sufficient for a day, senior energy ministry official said and it was confirmed by CPC sources.

When importing fuel under such unsolicited proposals by new private suppliers, there was the practice of commissions changing hands among various parties connected to the transaction of this deal, a senior CPC official explained.

He noted that one of the reasons for this fuel tanker to desist from arriving at the Colombo port for unloading of fuel may be some issues relating to these commissions.

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