Arjuna Ranatunga, Sri Lanka's Ports Minister, says an "irregularity" during the country's previous administration has resulted in a $19.9 million loss.
Sri Lanka's Ports Minister, Arjuna Ranatunga, says that a bunkering irregularity during the governance of the country's previous administration has resulted in a $19.9 million loss for the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) at the Hambantota Port, local media reports.
Ranatunga says the loss is related to an oil shipment that was rejected by the national oil and gas company, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) due to its low quality.
“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,” asserted Ranatunga.
“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 as interest.”
Arjuna Ranatunga, Ports Minister, Sri Lanka
Today we haven't been able to sell the oil they bought for at least one third of the price.
The Ports Ministry says that Hambantota Port had purchased 17,818 tonnes of MGO, of which they have only been able to sell 3,235 tonnes over the past six months.
Ranatunga says the matter has been reported to cabinet, and a decision over the future of bunkering at Hambantota, along with what to do with the remaining fuel, will be taken at a later date.
In July, the SLPA announced a $400 million investment for the Hambantota Port to construct a repair centre and renew bunkering services in the "near future."