Unloading is now underway of a fuel tanker which was docked at the Colombo Port for 16 days without clearing the cargo due to non-payment of the total bill as a result of the country’s dollar crisis, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.
In a tweet about an update on fuel purchases, he disclosed that payments were settled yesterday for a shipment of diesel.
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has made the payments for a ship carrying 40,000 tonnes of diesel that had arrived in Colombo Port on July 16.
The CPC has paid US$52 million to the Dubai based Coral Energy before unloading the diesel. Moreover, it has also paid $288,000 as late charges, port charges and insurance fees.
A senior CPC official said that they purchased the diesel shipment under the spot tender method to resolve the fuel shortages.
He added that they have no dollars to pay for future shipments and that the CPC must limit the stocks released to the market.
Earlier this week Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe said Sri Lanka needed $ 350-400 million to import oil on a monthly basis excluding for fuel needed to generate electricity. (Bandula)