The objective of this Cabinet Memorandum is to promote the process of disposing of burnt furnace oil in a systematic manner to convert it as a source of revenue for the country in dollars, the Ministry said.
“At present the volume of burnt furnace oil discharged annually from ships that sail into to our country exceeds 20,000 metric tons. 27 agencies and individuals are licensed to use them. But as per to the current system, it will not generate any revenue to our country. Instead, due to competition among buyers, our country’s foreign exchange is being spent, as ships are being paid for and shipped,” the Ministry said.
As a result, the country loses colossal amount of its annual revenue and it has been recurrently taking place for decades to remove section of these discharged furnace fuel and to discard the residual toxic waste into the environment.
As a result, a massive environmental damage has been witnessed that 10,000 litres of pure water become contaminated by per litre of wastewater discharged along with burnt furnace fuel substances by ships, the Ministry said.
“Sri Lanka is the only country in the world that pays for garbage. At present, 27 institutions and individuals are engaged in such activities, but only four institutions have formal refining facilities. Others have no refining facilities. Also, these refineries can refine only 4800 tons of fuel oil annually. The Ministry has information about remaining fuel oil that will be dumped near rivers or canals, “subject Minister Mahinda Amaraweera added.