Sri Lanka to restart refinery with oil cargo from Dubai

Updated 05 November 2012
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Sri Lanka to restart refinery with oil cargo from Dubai

COLOMBO: Ceylon Petroleum Corp. (Ceypetco) will resume operation of Sri Lanka’s sole refinery, a 50,000 barrels-per-day facility, after a 10-day closure, because it has received a cargo of 75,000 tons of crude from Dubai, officials said.
Sri Lanka’s decades-old refinery is configured to run on Iranian crude and has been scrambling to fill a shortfall after Western sanctions prevented it from bringing in the crude from Iran. The sanctions have hurt its economy by forcing it to spend more to import oil and oil products.
The refinery was shut on Oct. 26 after exhausting its supply of mainly Iranian crude oil, and its general manager, Susantha Silva, said it would be shut until the island nation received the Dubai cargo.
“We have received a 75,000-metric-ton crude cargo and everything is arranged to unload,” Silva said in an interview.
“If all goes well, we’ll be able to resume operations from tomorrow.”
Silva declined to comment on the origin of the cargo, but an oil ministry official said it came from Dubai.
“The cargo came from Dubai the day before yesterday and everything is now ready to unload,” the official said.
He said the island nation would receive an 80,000 ton crude cargo from Oman on Thursday, a 135,000 ton cargo from Saudi Aramco Nov. 13-15 and another 135,000 ton shipment in December.
Silva last week said the December shipment was from Abu Dhabi.
Exports from Iran, which is grappling with tough Western sanctions against its energy and petrochemical sectors, have fallen sharply as buyers struggle to pay for the oil and secure insurance cover for tankers to ship it.
Ceypetco has been having problems running the refinery at full capacity because alternative crudes such as Arabian light do not provide the proper yield, Silva said earlier.
The sanctions have so far compelled Sri Lanka’s $ 59 billion economy to spend an extra $ 1.2 billion on oil imports, Oil Minister Susil Premajayantha told parliament recently.
Sri Lanka has reduced imports of Iranian crude by a fifth this year but disagrees with Western sanctions that are punishing countries that depend on the oil, Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris has said.
The country is now in talks with Iran to find a suitable payment method, because banks dealing with Iran have also been targeted by Western sanctions. Iran has not offered any discounts on its crude, Peiris said.
Ceypetco’s Sapugaskanda refinery, on the outskirts of the capital, Colombo, was shut early in September also after damage to a floating pipeline at the Colombo port.


Flight rights group takes Ryanair to court over strike compensation

Updated 15 August 2018
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Flight rights group takes Ryanair to court over strike compensation

  • Ryanair had to cancel around 1 in 6 flights last week due to a walk-out by pilots in five European countries
  • The disruption affected 55,000 travelers

BERLIN: German passenger rights company Flightright is taking Ryanair to court over whether it should pay financial compensation to passengers affected by strikes at Europe’s largest low-cost carrier.
Ryanair had to cancel around 1 in 6 flights on Friday due to a walk-out by pilots in five European countries, disrupting an estimated 55,000 travelers.
The worst affected country was Germany, where 250 flights affected around 42,000 passengers.
EU rules state that passengers can claim monetary compensation of up to €400 for flights within the region for canceled or delayed flights, unless the reason is extraordinary circumstances, such as bad weather.
Strikes have generally fallen under extraordinary circumstances although a ruling by the European Court of Justice in April said that a wildcat strike by staff at German airline TUIfly following a restructuring could not be classed as extraordinary circumstances. Flightright said it believes Ryanair is therefore obliged to pay monetary compensation to customers and so has filed a complaint with a court in Frankfurt in a bid to clarify the rules around strikes.
A spokeswoman for the court said she was aware of the Flightright statement, but that she had not yet seen the complaint.
Ryanair said it fully complies with the European legislation on the matter, known as EU261.
“Under EU261 legislation, no compensation is payable when the union is acting unreasonably and totally beyond the airline’s control. If this was within our control, there would be no cancelations,” a spokesman said.
Passenger rights groups such as Flightright help passengers to claim compensation from airlines under EU261 rules but in exchange for a share of the compensation received.
Many European airlines, including Ryanair, therefore urge passengers to file claims with them directly instead.