Bunker Deadline

Sept 08, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court has given the bunkering unit of John Keells Holdings (JKH) till September 12 to vacate a tank farm, and the company has been ordered to pay compensation to workers, lawyers said. LMS earlier sought and received time till September 10 to take away its oil stocks as worker unrest prevented management from moving the stocks.

Workers have also been asked to co-operate in moving oil stocks, an official said.

SLPA is planning to covert the tank farm to a common user facility. Lanka Marine Services (LMS), a unit of JKH, was ordered by court to hand over a land containing a tank farm to Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA), following a ruling in which the group was faulted over the privatization of the bunkering unit.

LMS also has to pay compensation – to be determined by the Commissioner of Labour – workers whose services are terminated.

The company has to deposit compensation in a bank.

Earlier reports had indicated that LMS workers would be absorbed by the Jaye container terminal of the SLPA.

The order had said any oil remaining in the tanks after September 12 would remain with Sri Lanka Ports Authority, lawyers said.