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Sri Lanka opens retail fuel market to foreign firms as oil crisis bites


Sri Lanka’s cabinet has approved a proposal to allow companies from oil-producing nations to import oil and start retail operations in the country.

The Department of Government Information announced the decision on Tuesday.

The proposal was made by Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara.

The Cabinet also approved a proposal to allow companies registered for bunkering operations, under the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, to import jet fuel.

Sri Lanka needs 1.2 million litres of jet fuel a day for planes. However, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is not able to procure adequate quantities of aviation fuel.

Wijesekara therefore made a proposal to allow foreign companies to import jet fuel to ensure air travel continues without any hindrance.

He tweeted that companies would be selected on the ability to import fuel and operate without forex requirements from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and other banks for the first few months of operations.

He stressed the CPC would be the service provider for logistics, stocking and distribution with a service fee charged from the companies.

At a special media briefing, Media Minister Bandula Gunawardena said that fuel issuance would be restricted to vehicles attached to essential services until July 10.

The CPC would supply diesel and petrol only to essential services such as ports, the health sector, distributors of essential food items and for transportation of agricultural products.

The cabinet has also decided to continue essential services and suspend other operations until July 10, the minister said.

He gave an assurance that a mechanism to provide continuous supply of LPG and fuel would be in place after July 10.

Inter-provincial transport services would be temporarily halted due to limited stocks of fuel, he added.

The Island

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Sri Lanka opens retail fuel market to foreign firms as oil crisis bites
 

 

Published : June 29, 2022

By : The Island