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Bunkering market opens up

Colombo: Close on the heels of the Supreme Court terminating the monopoly on land based bunkering facilities held by Lanka Marine Services Limited (LMSL), the Sri Lankan government has set up a joint venture with a Greek firm to provide bunkering services.

The Petroleum Ministry has issued the license to CSC Kandia (Pvt) Limited, a partnership between the Ceylon Shipping Corporation and Ariston Oil Shipping (Pvt).

The Supreme Court on July 21 directed LMSL to vacate its nine acre base of operations within a month from the judgment thereby allowing other license holders to use the facility.

"Now it would be a common user facility," a source said adding the John Keels run-LMSL, too, would be able to use it.

Vasudeva Nanayakkara moved the Supreme Court against the sale of 90 per cent shares of the LMSL to JKH during the previous UNF administration.

The licence issued to the new venture had come into operation on July 15.

"We'll import, store, distribute and supply fuel to ships entering Sri Lankan waters. With our entry, there'll be, altogether four players in the market including LMSL," a spokesperson for the new entrant told The Sunday Island. The jv is likely to won a suezmax tanker.

Two of the licence holders had oil tankers on Sri Lankan waters to supply fuel to ships during the period the LMSL held the monopoly.

"The awarding of a new bunkering licence is another very important milestone in an ambitious journey embarked upon by the new management team appointed by Chamal Rajapakse, Minister of Ports and Aviation with a view to bringing back the past glory of the Ceylon Shipping Corporation Ltd" the Executive Director of CSC, Mayantha Dissanayake said. [28/7/08]


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