Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) will have to pay thousands of dollars in demurrage daily as it repairs faulty underwater hoses used to unload oil from tankers at the Colombo port's outer harbor.
"We had to stop unloading oil from a tanker at the Colombo outer harbor when cracks were detected in two underwater hoses," Anil Obeyesekere, the firm's chairman, said.
"We replaced the hoses and then found that a third hose had also developed cracks. It will be replaced within five days," he said.
Obeyesekere said two tankers, each carrying 60,000 tons of crude oil, were currently in the harbor. One had already unloaded 40,000 tons.
"The tankers are normally in and out in four days, but due to this problem they will be delayed. Depending on the delay we will have to pay demurrage, which amounts to $8,000 to $10,000 per day," he said, adding that the ship's owners absorb 50 percent.
CPC officials said four hose pipes connect a single point buoy mooring about
3.75 miles from the shore, to the underground pipeline at Colombo port.
From the port the oil is pumped to CPC's 60,000 barrel per day refinery at Sapugaskanda or a terminal at Orugodawatte, both on the outskirts of the capital Colombo.
The tankers have to discharge oil at the outer harbor because they are too large to enter the port.
CPC officials said there were sufficient stocks of crude oil at the refinery.