May 22, 2022

US$1 bn. LoC sought from India & China to buy fuel till December

Sri Lanka is to begin negotiations for fresh credit lines with India and China with the aim of raising US$ one billion for the purchase of fuel for the rest of the year, a senior Treasury official said.

He said they were trying to obtain US$ 500 million each from these two countries to ensure that petrol and diesel supplies could be maintained after the current supplies end.

The move comes as only a US$ 200 million credit line from India was left to purchase fuel.

A request by the Treasury via the Foreign Ministry to purchase crude oil from Russia has not received a response so far.

Meanwhile, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara called on the public to stop hoarding fuel as more protests are held across the country, demanding fuel.

Mr Wijesekara said as the country was currently receiving sufficient amounts of fuel and due to receive more fuel shipments people should not be alarmed of further shortages.

He clarified that the fuel stocks could be managed only according to the demand of the people and further added that when a 40,000MT of diesel shipment arrived under normal situation a 4000 Mt of diesel would be distributed daily. However, due to the shortage the amount which was distributed has reached 6000 to 7000MT forcing shipments to be frequently purchased.

The Minister said that at present two ships were unloading petrol and diesel and another shipment of petrol had also reached Sri Lanka. He assured that there would be no shortage of fuel as more shipments of fuel were scheduled to reach the country.

He expressed that there would be lesser demand for fuel as the Norochcholai coal power plant would be once again added to the grid.

Meanwhile, protests over shortage of fuel continued in several parts of the country despite fresh attempts by the Government to restore supplies.

Vehicle movements in roads Colombo and suburbs were minimal due to protesters blocking access roads. Protests were held on the Baseline Road, near Orugodawatta, Bopitiya, Ja Ela, and Waskaduwa, among other places.


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