Sri Lanka faces diesel shortage as foreign exchange crisis worsens

Motorists queue to buy petrol at a Ceylon Petroleum Corporation fuel station in Colombo on April 12, 2022. (ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP)

COLOMBO – Sri Lanka is facing a shortage of diesel as a foreign exchange crisis worsens in the South Asian country, said Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera on Thursday.

The minister told parliament that the country needs 4,000 metric tons of diesels per day. However, the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is currently only releasing 1,000 to 1,500 metric tons a day.

Currently there is no shortage of petrol supply in the country, he said, adding that around 3,000 metric tons of petrol has been released on a daily basis, and that a ship carrying 40,000 metric tons of petrol arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday night.

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Sri Lanka has been suffering a diesel shortage since February, which led to hours of daily power cuts.

Finance Minister Ali Sabry said on Wednesday that Sri Lanka only has less than $50 million in usable foreign reserves.