(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –The problems related to the fuel supply in the country will be resolved by this Saturday and will be restored from next Monday. Secretary to the Ministry of Energy Mrs. D. R. Olga said.
The Secretary made these comments at a media briefing organized by the President’s Media Center yesterday (10) under the theme ‘Energy is a strength to the country’. President’s Spokesman Kingsley Rathnayaka moderated the media briefing which was also attended by the Chairman of the Petroleum Corporation Sumith Wijesinghe.
A diesel ship has already arrived at the Port of Colombo and it is expected to receive 172,000 metric tons of diesel from four fuel tankers this month, the Secretary to the Ministry of Energy said adding that the distribution of fuel will be expedited.
The Secretary pointed out that several ships of fuel oil required for power plants have been received with about 30,000 metric tons and that will enable power plants such as the West Coast using fuel oil to run at full capacity. More stocks of fuel oil are to be received on March 20, she added.
“Once the fuel stocks are received, the current fuel and electricity problems will go away very quickly,” Mrs. Olga said. “We have also taken steps to inform the relevant parties about the supply of the required dollars as per our plans. The Secretary to the President, the Secretary to the Treasury and the Governor of the Central Bank are constantly monitoring and assisting to take this program forward,” she added.
Explaining the future plans for the energy sector, Secretary Olga said that after the modernization of the Trincomalee oil tanks owned by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, it will be possible to supply oil to areas such as the North, North Central and Badulla without going through Colombo. It will save about 800 million rupees a month, she said.
Responding to a question on whether fuel prices could go up soon, the Secretary said that although there was a discussion on this, such a decision should be taken prudently.
Sumith Wijesinghe, Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) said that there was no shortage of fuel in the country and the daily fuel consumption had increased despite the fact that the fuel supply was normal in most cases.
With the rise in fuel prices in the world market, there was a tendency for many consumers to resort to hoarding fuel for fear that domestic prices might also rise, he said.
The Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Sumith Wijesinghe said that a very high amount of dollars has to be paid for imported fuel and that it would be better for the country if fuel consumption is properly managed at this time.