ACF Adviser Rajith Keerthi Tennakoon says that the Chairman and a few members of the Director Board of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, that acquired 100% of Litro Gas Terminals Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, and 51% of Litro Gas Lanka Ltd in 2010, are behind this manoeuvre.
The deadline to accept tender bids was 3 PM on may 27. For the first time in Sri Lankan history, everyone involved (officials of the relevant ministries and representatives of all bidding companies) had the opportunity to be present when the tenders were announced.
The relevant technical and commercial committees selected the tender of the Shell Eastern Trading (Pte) Ltd who had quoted the lowest price. According to Bloomberg the company was incorporated in 1989 and is based in Singapore and operates as a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc. It has a proven track record and owns ships that are capable of safely transporting large quantities of gas, and the possession of such ships is essential to ensure Sri Lanka receives uninterrupted supplies.
However Chairman and a few members of the Director Board of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation are attempting to revoke this tender, which was chosen in a transparent manner. To achieve this they are trying to remove the current Chairman and members of the Director Board of Litro Gas Lanka Limited. Subsequently they are attempting to create a 'director board decision', backdated to June 2, to repeal the tender given to Shell Eastern Trading (Pte) Ltd.
While the Chairman of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation is leading this initiative, the mastermind behind this is a powerful politician who wants another company to obtain the tender to import gas.
If their initiative is successful Sri Lanka might lose between Rs 1.7 billion to Rs 2.3 billion, Tennakoon says.