LNP – Debate over poor quality crude oil imports rages
Following the allegations levelled by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka on the quality of crude oil imported, the petroleum unions have also claimed that the substandard products are a key reason for the ongoing power crisis.
They alleged that the recent crude oil consignment imported from Russia for refinery purposes cannot be used for power generation as the stock is substandard.
Earlier this week, PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake alleged that the crude oil refined and distributed by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation cannot be used for power generation, citing it had a higher content of sulphur.
Ratnayake revealed that the average content of sulphur in furnace oil is 2%, but the CPC-provided stock had 3% sulphur content.
However, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera denied the allegations levelled by the PUCSL Chairman, insisting that the CPC will respond legally to the allegations levelled by him.
As per the unions, Sri Lanka had imported crude oil from Russia on two occasions, firstly 45,000 tons and secondly 125,000 tons on 23 August. They have also said another 50,000 tons of crude oil from the last imported stock remains to be refined.
On Tuesday, the PUCSL said samples will be collected from all fuel stations countrywide for a quality survey after receiving complaints from many consumers.
“Last month alone we received over 100 complaints that the petrol and diesel distributed are low in quality,” PUCSL Chairman told journalists.
Noting there are over 1,200 fuel stations in the country, he said if they receive 100 complaints from 100 places it translates to around 10% of the stations having low-quality fuel.
“Some consumers have complained of a foul odour coming from the fuel, while some have claimed the number of miles per litre has reduced. Others have said fuel is not sold according to quota allocation,” he explained.
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Controvasy is nothing new in Sri Lanka