Ship Fuel

Sept 27, 2008 (LBO) – The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) said Friday that it had started bunkering operations in Colombo port through a newly established subsidiary.

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The JCT Ltd. Oil Bank, a fully owned subsidiary company of the SLPA received its first parcel of bunker fuel oil for storage Friday, a port statement said.

JCT Oil Bank took over the oil tank farm owned by Lanka Marine Services (LMS), a unit of the John Keells Holdings (JKH) group, on a court order earlier this month.

The port statement said the JCT Ltd. Oil Bank has entered into agreements with seven of the eight bunker licence holders for the use of the oil bank.

Lanka Marine Services had earlier held an effective monopoly on ship fuel sales in Colombo port as it owned the only onshore storage facility.

But Sri Lanka’s supreme court recently ruled that JKH had acquired illegal benefits when it bought LMS in a privatization exercise that the court said was flawed.

It ordered LMS to return the tanks to the port and to pay back taxes.