Operations underway at CPSTL terminals & depots to distribute fuel – Energy Minister

Operations underway at CPSTL terminals & depots to distribute fuel - Energy Minister- BPN TODAY

Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera says that operations are underway at the terminals and depots of Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) to distribute fuel.

He said that trains, government-owned and dealer-owned fuel tankers are being utilized to carry out fuel distribution. 

In a twitter message, the minister also said that certain private hired bowser operators who are on strike have been identified for obstructing the tankers that have commenced deliveries. 

Meanwhile the Ceylon Petroleum Private Tanker Owners’ Association says that they will continue with their trade union action.

The union launched the strike from midnight on Saturday (April 30) and said it would continue until their demands were met.

The strike had also severely disrupted fuel distribution activities yesterday.

Meanwhile it is reported that the LIOC Private Tanker Owners’ Association has also withdrawn from fuel transportation activities in support of the strike launched by the Ceylon Petroleum Private Tanker Owners’ Association.

The Ceylon Petroleum Private Tanker Owners’ Association had decided to withdraw from fuel transportation activities from midnight on Saturday (April 30), demanding an increase in their tariffs. 

This had severely affected fuel distribution operations in the country while the distribution of fuel from the Muthurajawela terminal had come to a complete halt yesterday with some tanker owners even deciding to detach and leave behind their bowser trailers at the terminal. 

The strike action had also led to the temporary closure of several fuel stations in the country owing to a lack of fuel supplies. 

The union warned that say they will continue their strike action if the government does not take steps to increase their transport charges in line with the unusually high fuel prices as well as the increase in spare parts prices by around 300%.

However, the Energy Minister had tweeted saying alternative methods are in place to continue the fuel distribution without interruption if private bowser owners withdraw from services.

The minister added that the Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited (CPSTL) has been instructed to open registration immediately for new suppliers to transport fuel and to cancel the registration of those who fail to report for duty.

Trains, government-owned, fuel station-owned and privately-hired bowsers that are not on strike will continue the fuel distribution services, he added.
Meanwhile the minister yesterday also announced the following new guidelines for fuel transportation. 

New Guidelines for Fuel Transportation:  

(a) Increase the capacity of the train fuel transportation from 40% to 100% to the rural depots.
(b) Expedite the new license issuing process to 1 week from 1 month. 

(c) Separate Line for Fuel Station owners’ collection bowsers.

(d) Cancel operating license of transporters who fail to report to duty in the next 2 days and to take legal action and cancel license of individuals who prevent others that report to work. 

(e) Increase the capacity and number of Government owned bowsers to operate daily.

(f) 24-hour Operations to be conducted to deliver fuel from the terminals to meet the requirements

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