Tender benders at CPC

Continuing allegations of tender irregularities at the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) are being probed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Minister Susil Premajayantha said.

“We are looking at these issues and taking remedial measures,” he told the Sunday Times when asked about allegations that high-ups at the CPC had intervened in tender issues at the Corporation. He declined to give details.

CPC Chairman Harry Jayawardene or other CPC officials were not available for comment on the allegations. The latest case involves a tender for 120,000 barrels of Naphtha, the liquid hydrocarbons in petroleum.

The tender was called twice and on both occasions a Singapore-based company, Glencore had made the only offer but both bids were rejected. In a third tender, three bids were made but were also rejected. Subsequently, oil industry sources allege that the CPC called the Singapore Company and asked it to increase the price if it wanted to get the tender.

Ministry Secretary Titus Jayawardene, said yesterday as far as he was aware the tender had been awarded to the Singapore company. “However, I am unaware of allegations against the chairman,” he said, refusing to comment further.

Oil industry sources said the tender process at the CPC in recent times had been frustrating for suppliers as tenders were often cancelled and re-called and then given to a selected company.

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