The 92 octane gasoline shipment that was scheduled to arrive on the island has been delayed by another day, according to Kanchana Wijesekara, Minister of Power and Energy.
The Minister explained that as a result of this delay, the distribution of gasoline will be restricted for two days.
The Letters of Credit for the gasoline shipment that was scheduled to arrive on the island this morning have already been started, the Minister of Power and Energy previously stated.
Petroleum Trade Unions, however, informed yesterday (22) that the supplier of this gasoline shipment has made it a need to contact an international bank as a guarantee for the payment or for the complete payment to be made before the stock is handed to the nation.
The trade unions also disclosed that the HSBC bank had turned down the Sri Lankan government’s proposal to utilize it as a guarantee for this transaction.
The Petroleum Cooperation confirmed that the full payment for this fuel shipment has already been completed.
Even though the country has not yet received the shipment of gasoline that was scheduled to reach the island this morning, the concerned minister later announced that a second shipment of gasoline is expected to reach the island tonight (23).
According to the Power and Energy Minister, this shipment, which is carrying 35,000 metric tons of gasoline, will arrive tonight, and the unloading of this shipment will start the following day (24).
But only one fuel ship, known as AYOI, was spotted today close to Sri Lanka. This ship left India earlier and is anticipated to reach the island tonight.
However, this afternoon (March 23), the ship changed its course and headed for Indonesia.
Ananada Palitha, the spokesperson for the United Trade Front, claimed that the energy minister is still lying during a press conference. He claimed that despite the Minister’s promises of shipments of diesel and gasoline, none actually arrived in the nation and that there is still a lack of crude oil there.
According to Palitha, the refinery will have to shut down once more starting tomorrow evening (February 24) due to a lack of crude oil, which will cause a new kerosene scarcity in the nation.
“Right now, they don’t even have 1,500 metric tons of gasoline in stock. Additionally, they aren’t prepared to distribute this leftover supply. No ships will be arriving today or tomorrow. As a result of this crisis, the nation will come to a full standstill and more people will die, Palitha continued.
The Sapugaskanda oil refinery will have to stop operating tonight unless a confirmation can be made on the arrival of a crude oil shipment by the 28th or 29th of June, according to a statement released today (23), by the Engineers association of the Petroleum Cooperation.
The Association further stated that despite the subject minister’s previous pledge to provide this confirmation by yesterday, they have not heard from him about this shipment