Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila has reiterated that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation will not be privatised as long as he remains in his Ministerial post.
Minister Udaya Gammanpila also reiterated that bringing down crude oil is profitable and favourable to the country’s foreign reserves as oppose to importing refined oil.
Speaking in Parliament MP Hesha Withanage said a statement was made regarding the Ministry of Energy by Minister Rohitha Abegunawardhana, which was contradictory to the statement made by Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila.
MP Withanage claimed Minister Abegunawardhana was attempting to indicate that the closure of the Sapugaskanda oil refinery can be profitable for the country, because it’s less costly to import refined oil.
The MP questioned how long the reserves will last and whether he can ensure there will be no fuel shortage in the country, at any given time.
In response, the Energy Minister said Minister Abegunawardhana may not have been aware of the matter when he made the statement.
Minister Gammanpila said if it is a disadvantage to refine crude oil locally, the oil refinery must be shut permanently, and not temporarily.
The Minister noted that he announced on the 29th of September that the import of crude oil will have to be halted and the Sapugaskanda oil refinery will have to be closed if the foreign reserve crisis is not resolved.