Irregularity in bunkering leads to USD19.9mn loss to Hambantota Port

Nov 09, 2015 (LBO) – An irregularity which occurred at the Hambantota Port during the past administration has resulted in a loss of 19.9 million US dollars to Sri Lanka Ports Authority, the Ports Minister revealed.

Ports Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said the irregularity is connected to an oil ship that was rejected by CPC due to the low quality of its oil.

“But that rejected oil ship was bought by Hambantota Port for bunkering, paying a high price at a time when world oil prices were at the highest point,” Ranatunga said.

“Today we haven’t been able to sell the oil they bought for at least one third of the price. In addition, we are paying 600,000 dollars as interest,” he added.

There are three main types of oil used in navel transportation namely IFO – 380, IFO – 180 and Marine Gas Oil.

According to Ports Ministry, Hambantota Port, through the above business had bought 17,818 tonnes of Marine Gas Oil which has the lowest demand in the bunkering industry.

During the past six months they were only able to sell 3,235 tonnes of Marine Gas Oil.

Ranatunga further said the matter has been conveyed to the cabinet and a decision with regard to the bunkering business and remaining oil will be taken in the future.