Govt. sees no fuel supply disruption despite pump unit damage

Saturday, 5 July 2014 01:20 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

COLOMBO, (Reuters): Sri Lanka will not run out of fuel despite damage to a floating unit that pumps fuel, officials said on Friday, a week after a buoy at its crude unloading facility was damaged, forcing its sole refinery to shut temporarily. “The country will not face a fuel shortage due to this damage as it has enough stocks to distribute within the country,” Lalith Hettithanthrige, Deputy General Manager of the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminal said in a statement. Oil Minister Anura Priyadharshana Yapa last week said the country had fuel stocks for one month and was considering ship-to-ship transfer to ensure continued crude supply for refinery operations. An official from the oil ministry told Reuters that it had been able to arrange a ship for ship-to-ship transfer of crude from the three oil tankers – one partially unloaded and two fully unloaded – anchored near the main port. “That ship (for the transfer) will reach Colombo port by next week,” said the official at the oil ministry asking not to be named. Hettithanthrige also said they will use another facility at the Colombo port to unload the refined fuel parcel in the ship if they fail to repair the damage in 24 hours. The 50,000 barrels-per-day oil (bpd) Sapugaskanda refinery near Colombo has faced temporary closure several times due to repairs, maintenance, and not receiving crude on time. The refinery faced temporary closure in May last year due to a delay in crude shipments and in November after the government cancelled two shipments. Sri Lanka may have to order additional refined products if it fails to secure the required crude. The $ 67 billion economy produces no oil and depends on imported crude and refined fuel.