Clean-up at CPC after dirty petrol

By Bandula Sirimanna

The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) commercial division is undergoing a major shakeup amidst continued bureaucratic bungling in the purchase of fuel, violating tender procedures even several months after the dirty petrol fiasco that damaged around 2,000 vehicles in the island, officials said.

Petroleum Industries Minister Susil Premajayantha told the Sunday Times, the CPC commercial division will be completely restructured streamlining its functions and procedures on a top level directive. Management positions at the commercial division will be changed to make fuel purchases in a more efficient and transparent manner, he said.

Assistant Commercial Manager Uditha Doloswela – who figured in the controversial tender relating to the contaminated oil - has been sent on compulsory leave and replaced by C.P. Samaraweera as Commercial Manager, who previously had served in the Commercial Section of CPC and then transferred to CPSTL (Ceylon Petroleum Storage Terminals Limited). The new appointee took up his position on Thursday.

Minister Premajayantha revealed that an internal disciplinary inquiry has been instituted against officials including Mr. Doloswela who were responsible for bringing down the consignment of substandard petrol sold by a UAE supplier to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and later sold to consumers.
A CPC official said “there is no doubt that if a proper probe is conducted, Mr. Doloswela will divulge more about the deals and whether he just carried out instructions given by his CPC bosses”.

“Mr. Doloswela was just a pawn in the game and now sacrificed at the altar to cover up the top at CPC,” he added. Meanwhile, startling details on the dirty petrol deal continue to surface. Whether ENOC established a bid bond for the famous cargo of defective petrol is also unknown. It is also unknown whether ENOC opened a bid bond on the term contract they signed with CPC before the contract for defective petrol. A bid bond is established against non-performance and could be encashed in the case of non-performance.

As reported in this newspaper recently, ENOC’s chief trader in Singapore Jerry Chia claimed that he knew nothing about sub-standard petrol being supplied by his company to CPC. The question here is, whether CPC has made a claim against ENOC on the cargo or whether CPC has already paid for the said to ENOC and will seek re-imbursement.

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