The construction of a new oil tank complex in Sri Lanka commenced today (22) after 40 years under the patronage of Minister of Petroleum Resources Development Arjuna Ranatunga.
The new tank complex in Kolonnawa petroleum complex comprising 11 tanks is expected to facilitate the petroleum distribution network.
The tank complex will comprise 3 tanks with capacity of 11200 metric tons of petrol, 3 tanks of 11,900 metric tons of aviation fuel, one tank of 12,600 metric tons of diesel, five tanks of 5800 metric tons of diesel, one tank of 3800 metric tons of diesel and one tank of 5600 metric tons of kerosene.
Addressing the gathering, Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that the decision to build a fuel tank complex was being taken into consideration in view of the increasing consumption of petrol.
The Minister noted that the increase in the consumption of petrol in the country since 2009 is 90 percent, increasing annually by seven percent. It is also necessary to maintain a stock of petroleum for thirty days in order to maintain adequate amount of petrol in the country. Minister Arjuna Ranatunga said that his expectation was to increase the buffer stocks to 60 days in the future.
He said the Cabinet approval was obtained to build the tank complex few years ago. However, despite the approval, no oil tanks were built.
“However, we have made the cabinet aware of this and the government has taken measures to build these tanks. We saw how the petrol the crisis arose recently. I’m not saying it’s good. But I see the good side of every bad issue. The importance of fuel security was understood by the political authority of the country after this petrol crisis,” he said.
The Minister said the President, the Prime Minister and cabinet ministers also understood the importance of the fuel security and the project received their blessing to commence promptly. He added that the new oil tank complex is being built after 40 years.
“We have also taken steps to repair the fuel transmission systems. It is also after 40 years. Also, there is a big discussion about the Trincomalee oil tank complex. Nobody ever wanted to touch these oil tanks earlier. Those tanks have been deteriorated. We expect those tanks to be use. After discussing the 18 year contract with the Indian Oil Company, both parties should work together to develop a plan to use those tanks,” the Minister said adding that he opposes privatization.
“I am opposed to privatization, but we can bring an investor and develop the country’s resources to the advantage of the country. That is where we should go,” said Minister Arjuna Ranatunga.
The construction of the petrol tank that began today in the Zone 5 of Kolonnawa complex will have a capacity of 11,200 metric tons. The tank with a floating roof will be built at a cost of Rs. 412 million.
The construction of the fuel tank being built with the knowledge of engineers of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is expected to complete within 18 months.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony to build the tank, Dr. Upali Marasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development stated that the work of the new pipeline system from the Colombo port to the Kolonnawa area has now been completed by 80 percent.
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) Chairman, Dammika Ranatunga said that the new technology and knowledge will be used to make the fuel distribution more efficient in the future.