No guarantee of next fuel shipment’s quality – unions

Petroleum trade unions yesterday said that there was no way of guaranteeing the quality of the next fuel shipment due to arrive on Wednesday (08) until it was tested at the laboratories here.

Thousands of motorists queued for fuel on Monday for the fourth-day after the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) restricted supplies following a delay in a fuel shipment and a rejection of another due to its failure to meet specifications.

General Secretary of the Ceylon Petroleum Common Workers’ Union (CPCWU) D. G. Rajakaruna told The Island qualify failures as regards fuel shipments were rare but the quality of the fuel could be assured only after it was tested locally.Rajakaruna stressed that the CPC was expecting a shipment on Wednesday but it could be delayed due to rough seas and if the shipment arrived on due date, the CPC would launch night fillings with a view to restoring normal supplies by Friday. However, it would take a few more days for the situation to return to normal.

Queues could still be expected even after the distribution was fully re-stored by next Saturday, he said, adding that CPC had limited distribution of existing petrol to fuel stations and also it had ordered fuel rationing. The current storage would be sufficient for the next two days, he said.

The Petroleum Ministry stated that there was no diesel shortage in the country and warned stern action against the fuel stations that would not distribute diesel. However, the Ministry stressed that the current fuel shortage was due to panic buying.

Meanwhile, the trade unions have stressed the need to increase the storage facility to avoid similar shortages in the future as currently the CPC has only limited storage in Sapugaskanda.

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