Bunker Move

Sept 14, 2008 (LBO) – Lanka Marine Services (LMS), a unit of John Keells Holdings selling bunkers in Colombo port, has moved out most of its stocks from a tank farm by the court ordered deadline of September 12, a media report said. The Sunday Times quoting sources at Sri Lanka’s revenue office said, it had asked for 1.1 billion rupees in income taxes and 187 million in value added tax.

LMS has said in a stock exchange filing that it was asking to be treated as an export firm, which attracts a lower rate of taxation.

LMS is now operating with a tanker, while efforts are underway to convert the tank farm into a common-user facility for all licensed players.

Reports said that prices of bunkers in Colombo had shot up amidst a supply disruption caused by the LMS affair.

The Sunday Island quoted a company spokesman as saying that the firm had pumped out the oil except for “a little left in the tanks and the pipeline.”

LMS, a former state run firm, was ordered to return the tank farm by Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court which found its privatization flawed.

The report said LMS has had 15 million US dollars worth of oil in the tanks, but had difficulty in moving as workers were not co-operating.