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Tigers strike IOC fuel depot

Press Trust Of India  |  Colombo 

The main oil storage tank hit by the Tamil Tigers in a daring air raid this morning is owned by the Sri Lankan government and the (IOC). The attack occurred at a petroleum facility in Kolonnawa, a suburb of Colombo.
The fuel distribution facility, run by (CPSTL), is 33 per cent owned by Lanka IOC, a unit of the The rest is owned by the Sri Lankan government's Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).
"It is a very bad thing, whether the company is owned by the Indian government or Sri Lanka," said Lanka IOC Managing Director K Ramakrishnan. "Fortunately, nothing much happened and we will be operating without any disturbance," he added.
Shell Gas Lanka Ltd, whose liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) unloading and storage terminal in Muturajawela, which was also hit within minutes of the first attack, is part of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group since 1995.
R Saldin, finance director of Shell Gas Lanka, which is 49 per cent held by the government of Sri Lanka, said the company did not believe that the attack was aimed at Shell's gas terminal or that it would affect the multinational's presence in the island.
"This is a new development. But we do not believe the attack was aimed at us," Saldin was quoted as saying in the Lanka Business Online website.
"Shell always comes in for the long haul. The company is evaluating this situation," he said.
The Muturajawela terminal, owned by Shell Terminals Lanka, is adjacent to a newly built Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) oil storage complex, and is part of the same high-security zone.
Its perimeter security is provided by government forces.
The Tamil Tigers claimed they had hit two government oil storage facilities which were supplying the military.
Shell's Saldin said there were no injuries to workers at the Muturajawela facility, north of Colombo, from the one bomb that exploded around 2.00 am.
"There was no damage to the gas storage tanks or pipelines," Saldin said. "There was a minor fire which we contained in about an hour."
The rebel air strike, using at least one light aircraft, caused some damage to fire water pumps and a fire engine at the facility.
Saldin said they did not anticipate any disruption of LPG supplies.

First Published: Mon, April 30 2007. 00:00 IST