The company which was awarded the tender to supply crude oil to Sri Lanka for a period of four months has supplied crude oil to Sri Lanka through another company without any permission from the government without making the supply and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has unloaded this stock of crude oil without any consultation. Corporate sources say.
The Attorney General has also objected to this transaction and the Special Procurement Committee appointed by the Cabinet to purchase crude oil has also objected to the landing of this petroleum.
These sources further state that the Ministry of Energy has once again sought the approval of the Council of Ministers to justify the current situation and change this transaction.
According to undisclosed sources, Cabinet approval was given on December 19, 2022 for three shipments of Russian crude oil to UAE’s Coral Energy DMCC over a period of 4 months from January 01 to April 30, 2023.
According to the agreement, the first crude oil ship was scheduled to land on March 6th and 7th, but the ship arrived on March 25th by deviating from that date.
However, the tender was not provided by the concerned company and the stock was provided by a Dubai-based company called Pontus Trading.
This company does not have any legal authority to supply petroleum to Sri Lanka and although the authorities have pointed out that it is illegal to obtain crude oil supply from another company outside of the company that offered the tender, this oil ship was not approved by highlighting the needs such as the lack of oil in the Sapugaskanda oil refinery and the emergence of a fuel crisis in the country. It is stated that the statutory corporation has directed the mineral oil to its warehouses.
However, two or three days before the arrival of the ship, Coral Energy Company, which did not send the crude oil stock on the scheduled date, requested to assign the relevant contract and supply to Pontus Company, the oil supplier, but it has not been approved so far.
The procurement committee appointed by the Cabinet has objected to the supply of crude oil by a company other than Coral Energy Company of the United Arab Emirates, the bidder who won this tender.
The Attorney General has also been consulted and it is said that such procurement committees do not have the authority to give such approval.
Accordingly, the Special Procurement Committee appointed by the Cabinet has emphasized that it cannot approve procurement of supplies from other parties unrelated to the tender apart from the tender documents approved by it.
Also, it is reported that this Special Standing Procurement Committee has emphasized to the Petroleum Statutory Corporation that care and caution should be taken in the management of procurement contracts and utmost care should be taken in drafting the tender conditions so that there is no operational disruption in the contract management.
According to this situation, the petroleum company has requested the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers to sign a tripartite agreement with the company that supplied the crude oil to Sri Lanka, the company that initially awarded the tender, respecting the opinion of the Attorney General.