Govt. calls investors for export-oriented oil refinery in Hambantota
In a bid to boost foreign direct investments (FDIs), the Government has decided to call for an Expression of Interest to set up an export-oriented oil refinery in Hambantota.
“There is a possibility of establishing an export-oriented refinery in the Hambantota area, and it has been observed that many foreign investors are interested to invest in it,” Cabinet Co-Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday.
The proposal to this effect submitted by Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Given the foreign investor appetite for such projects, Gunawardena said Sri Lanka can have hopes for such projects to attract FDIs. He also said Power and Energy Minister will brief on the project in detail within the week.
In 20219 the the then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe laid the foundation stone to build an oil refinery in the Mirijjawila Export Processing Zone (EPZ).
The project is a joint venture between Singapore-registered Silver Park International and the Oman Oil Company. Soon after the project was announced by the Board of Investment (BOI) in Sri Lanka, it has been mired in controversies.
The paper examines these controversies and their impact. Introduction – The Proposed Oil Refinery On 24 March 2019, PM Wickremesinghe laid the foundation stone to build an oil refinery in the Mirijjawila Export Processing zone in Hambantota.
The oil refinery, which will span an area of 200 acres of land, will be completed in 44 months with the capacity to refine 200,000 barrels of crude oil per day.
It is ten times the capacity of the island’s only oil refinery situated in Sapugaskanda in Sri Lanka’s Western Province and is estimated to generate US$7 billion (S$ 9.4 billion) of exports by exporting 9 million metric tonnes of petroleum products per annum. The project expects to create 1,500 direct jobs and 3,000 indirect jobs.
The Cabinet of Ministers at its meeting on Monday approved to opening up of the lubricant oil market and the selection of entrants to offer competitive prices.
The proposal to market high-quality, innovative products and allow consumers to have the opportunity to buy lubricants at a more competitive price submitted by Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.
At present, 26 licensed companies including Ceylon Petroleum Corporation are engaged in the lubricant industry in Sri Lanka.
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Act (No. 28 of 1961) and its accompanying amended provisions have empowered the Minister in charge of Petroleum Resources Development to select new applicants for entry into the lubricant industry and to grant licenses accordingly.