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Officials from K. Seeds Investments Pvt Ltd (at left) with officials from Commercial Credit and Finance PLC (at right)

Feb 12, 2008 (LBO) – Lanka IOC is looking to extend its bunker business once new pipelines connecting the Colombo port with storage terminals are laid, an official said. The pipes would be laid by the common infrastructure firm, Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Ltd (CPSTL), which is jointly owned by Lanka IOC, the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and the Sri Lanka government.

LIOC, a unit of Indian Oil Corp, started bunkering or supplying ship fuel in the eastern port of Trincomalee last year but believes there is more potential in Colombo, LIOC managing director K. Ramakrishnan said.

"Bunkering in Colombo is more viable than Trincomalee where ship calls are few," he said.

But Colombo port's infrastructure needs to be upgraded for other players to enter the market and challenge the dominance of the entrenched player, Lanka Marine Services, the former state monopoly now owned by the John Keells group.

Bunker suppliers need to be able to receive fuel and send it to tank farms north of the port for storage and then to deliver it back to vessels, Ramakrishnan said.

For this requirement to be fulfilled there is a need to lay pipelines as th

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