Govt. to lease out oil tank farm to LIOC for 50 years despite chance to take it over in two years: JVP
Posted on January 1st, 2022

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) today alleged that the government was planning to lease out the Trincomalee oil tank farm to LIOC for another 50 years, albeit there is a chance to take over them by the government as the 20-year lease agreement with LIOC is to expire in two years’ time. 

Former JVP MP Dr. Nalinda Jayatissa told a news conference that a permit was issued to LIOC in 2004 to import, store and distribute fuel for 20 years and that it was to expire in two years’ time.

If this permit is not renewed, there will be no use for the LIOC to maintain these oil tanks. So, the government has a chance to take them over now. However, the Energy Minister instructed the CPC Chairman on December 20, 2021 to establish Trinco Petroleum Terminals Ltd. to develop the oil tank farm,” he said.

He said the LOIC had been using the oil tank farm without any lease agreement for the past 18 years and that there was an ongoing case in the Supreme Court that the LOIC had no legal rights to use the tanks.

The new Company which is formed with 49% shares to the LIOC will give legal bearing to the LIOC to use the oil tanks. Even though the government claims that no public property will be sold, all the assets which could be used for the development of the country are being sold to foreign companies,” he said.

Dr. Jayatissa said Sri Lanka does not have enough storage facilities to store fuel at the moment and that there was a need for proper storage facilities.

“Due to lack of storage facilities, diesel can be stored only for 19 days, petrol only for two weeks and super diesel only for 18 days. So, we need proper storage facilities. CPC employees point out that there should be at least 20 tanks to store fuel for a month and 53 tanks to store fuel for two months. 86 tanks can store fuel for three months. Then, we can store fuel when fuel prices come down in the world market. However, the government is planning to sell the oil tanks,” he charged.

He said they would join the trade union struggle to protect the oil tank farm as the oil tanks, ports and lands were needed for a future government to develop the country.(Ajith Siriwardana)

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