LNP – ‘No immediate impact on import, exports, shipping line activities’

Port activities in Sri Lanka have not slowed down due to fire that ignited on board MV X-Press Pearl container vessel, said Sri Lanka Shippers’ Council Chairman Suren Abeysekera.

“However I think in the long-run with the oil spill, there can be certain issues for ships en route to Colombo Port. Nevertheless that’s too early to comment as we have not heard of any particular condition because of this at the moment .”

“However there can be certain delays later on. But as a whole we should really look at how we can communicate with ships and to understand how better we can manage this situation going forward as previously similar incidents have happened around Sri Lanka. Nevertheless that’s not a decision that we can make, it has to be made by experts on this matter,” Abeysekera said.

Industry wise, Abeysekera said this would create a shortage in exports as this vessel was to call Colombo port and take some exports from Sri Lanka.

Abeysekera however assured that there would not be any immediate impact on exports and imports due to this incident.

Meanwhile leading shipping industry expert who wished to remain anonymous said there is no impact on the local market due to fire on MV X-Press Pearl. “Our ships are coming and discharging cargo and there’s no delay as far as our operations are concerned due to this particular incident.”

Shippers’ Academy Colombo CEO Rohan Masakorala said possible oil spills can have much larger damage than one container of acid or any other chemical.

“I don’t believe in the fact that the acid of one container can destroy the whole environment, what I am worried about is that if the ship sinks over 300 metric tonnes of fuel in its tanks could come on to the sea , then it could have a much bigger impact on the environment and wildlife. Hopefully I believe relevant authorities will be taking swift measures to avert the oil spill threat.”

Masakora further said that there is no impact on shipping line activities due to the fire that ignited on board MV X-Press Pearl.

Another Shipping sector officials said that the vessel was also supposed to be carrying some garment manufacturing industry related raw material imports. “Since these items are now perished, manufacturing arms will have to connect with buyers and reorder,” she said.

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