The Petroleum Corporation says that there is a scarcity of furnace oil distributed to power plants and main factories.
The managing Director of the corporation Susantha de Silva told us that several factors including the suspension of activities in the Sapugaskanda oil refinery has resulted in this situation.
The production activities of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery was suspended from the 22nd of June due to the explosion of a oil pipe carrying crude oil from the Colombo harbour to the refinery on the 27th of May.
The petroleum trade unions point out that as a result, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has to a pay a demurrage of over 20 crores to the crude oil tankers.
A pipe which carries refined crude oil to the Muthurajawela oil storage also exploded on the 4th of this month.
Petroleum Trade Unions allege that due to the delay in payments a vessel carrying 35 thousand metric tons of furnace oil has been anchored off Uswetakeiyaawa.
The chief secretary of the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya Ananda Palitha of the CPC said that the inability to unload the furnace oil in this ship, has also contributed towards the scarcity of furnace oil in the country.
He further noted that the repairs in the exploded pipe carrying crude oil from Colombo harbour to Sapugaskanda were completed two days ago.
The Managing Director of the CPC said that accordingly they will be able to recommence the production activities at the Sapugaskanda oil refinery in few days time.
We also made inquiries from the CPC managing director Susantha de Silva on how much was paid as demurrage to shipping corporations as a result of the delays caused by the explosion.