Fuel according to number plate’s final number | Daily News
Proposal under study

Fuel according to number plate’s final number

Petrol,diesel shipments due again next Thursday, Friday
Treasury releases US$ 90 mn payment
Minister says futile to stay in queues until Thursday
More companies will be allowed to import fuel on their own

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera yesterday said that a proposal to set up a system of supplying fuel twice a week according to the final number of the number plate for vehicles other than SLTB and other passenger transport buses and fuel issued to other essential services providing vehicles is being studied.

Minister Wijesekara said two shipments of petrol and diesel will arrive in the country on June 23 and 24.

Addressing a press conference at his Ministry to brief on the current status of fuel in the country, the Minister said the Treasury has already released US$ 90 million required to pay for the two fuel shipments.

He requested the people not to queue up for petrol in the next three to four days, adding that the supply would be limited to essential services. However, he said that there is no shortage of diesel, and that the stocks distributed daily exceed the usual quantity required per day.

He said Sri Lanka Railway would be issued 150 MT of fuel daily to continue train services uninterruptedly, and the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) would be issued 600MT of fuel daily for SLTB and private buses.

“From today, diesel will be issued round the clock from all SLTB depots for public transport buses (SLTB and private), tourist buses and vans (transporting foreign tourists only), school buses and vans and buses and vans involved in staff transport services. We request not to queue up these categories of vehicles in other sheds,” he noted.

He said Fridays would be allocated from this week to issue fuel for office vehicles of those in very essential services such as health, police, electricity and water. He requested the public to limit non-essential travel and urged the private sector to encourage ‘Work from Home’ as much as possible.

The Minister said a list of all three-wheelers, providing taxi service, would be prepared by the Police jointly with the relevant Divisional Secretariat Office and Local Authority and thereafter a specific fuel station would be assigned to each three-wheeler. “When this system is implemented, a three-wheeler driver can obtain fuel from that specific shed only. He can select the nearest shed to him for that purpose. It will help them to do their job all seven days in a week as they will not have to wait in line longer,” Wijesekara explained.

He said a methodology would soon be developed to issue fuel to all other vehicles, except container trucks, only two days per week. “With this, we intend to reduce prevailing queues and each vehicle will be issued a stipulated quantity of fuel,” he added.

The Minister assured continuous supply of diesel, furnace oil and naphtha to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to make sure prevailing power cuts would not exceed three hours as the National Grid loses 300MW generated by the Norochcholai Power Plant for 75 days due to maintenance work.

He said 40,000MT of diesel is available in the country, and Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery produces another 600MT of diesel daily. Only 4,000 MT of Octane 92 Petrol and 8,300 MT of Octane 95 Petrol are available with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation as at yesterday, while the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery adds another 350 MT of petrol daily.

He pointed out that the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) has a stock of 10,000 MT of Octane 92 Petrol in the Trincomalee Oil Storage Complex and that the Company agreed to issue about 1,000 MT of petrol to their sheds daily in the next few days.

The Minister observed that three crude oil shipments are scheduled to reach the country on June 29, July 10 and July 14, and that the existing crude oil stocks would be enough to run the Sapugaskanda Refinery till June 24. “The Refinery may have to take a 2-3 days’ break until the crude oil in the next shipment is unloaded,” he remarked. He said kerosene and diesel would be issued to industries once per week. The Minister said that he intends to present a Cabinet paper to allow more companies like the IOC to start oil supply and distribution in the country. “The Ceypetco cannot handle this situation alone. If there are companies which can import fuel to our country using a Credit Line of their own at least for another year, without depending on the foreign reserves of our Treasury, such companies will be selected for this purpose. The selection process may take another 2 to 3 months,” he added.

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