The Government is taking steps to reclaim as many as 84 Trincomalee Port Oil tanks lying in disuse, which are under the Indian Oil Company Sri Lankan Energy Minister Udaya Gammonpila said. The Indian company has not been able to make use of these tanks during the last 18 years.
The Minister said that the talks are underway among the Government, Indian Government and the Indian Oil Company to acquire some tanks underutilised by the Lankan Indian Oil Corportion.according to Sri Lankan media reports.
However, he refrained from divulging further details and expressed concern that revealing all details of the discussions would jeopardise the Government’s efforts to acquire the oil farm of 99 oil tanks.
Sri Lanka acquired the oil tank farm at China Bay from the British government during the Bandaranaike rule paying 250,000 sterling pounds, the Minister said.
101 tanks, and of them, only 99 are usable
It had 101 tanks and of them, only 99 are usable. The UNP Government had leased these tanks to Lankan Indian Oil Corporation in 2003 for 35 years holding on to 25 per cent ownership rights with the Lankan Government. The Lankan Indian Oil corporation is a subsidiary of the Indian Oil corporation.
We hope to get back the remaining tanks
“The complex was leased out to LIOC but even after 18 years, the Indian company could use only 15 tanks. We hope to get back the remaining tanks,” the Minister said. The storage capacity of the Trincomalee Port Complex is One Million tonnes.
The oil tank farm is adjacent to the Trincomalee Harbour, which is one of the deepest natural harbours in the world. It was developed by the British during the World War II.