Colombo (LNW): The Top delegations from China’s Sinopec Group (Ranking fifth in the Fortune Global 500 list of 2022) and the China Merchants Group (152nd) are now in Sri Lanka looking for further investments in the island.
The Sinopec is mainly focusing on petroleum and chemicals, import ,storage and distribution of fuel as well as oil refinery operations, the Chinese Embassy announced.
Sinopec Corp has set up a company in Sri Lanka for bunkering ships along a major maritime route four years ago in 2018.
The visit of the high powered official team of China’s Sinopec Group is very significant at this juncture where the government has taken steps to expedite the restructuring process Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) even looking at the possibility of giving golden hand shake for around 3700 workers out of the total number of 4200 while declaring a voluntary retirement scheme for them.
The government intends to divide the CPC into multiple parts, providing local and foreign investors with investment opportunities..
Accordingly, the CPC have been instructed to proceed with the proposed restructuring process as they have completed the necessary work to make them profitable under a new system.
Despite being instructed earlier, the restructuring process was delayed due to slow preparation of procedures.
According to energy ministry sources, Sinopec is set to join the Sri Lankan market for the purpose of importing, distributing, and selling petroleum products.
During a discussion with the representatives of the Sinopec Group held at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (March 13), President Ranil Wickremesinghe said that the government has taken a principled decision to expand the distribution of fuel which is expected to commence shortly.
The representatives from the Sinopec Group confirmed their readiness to invest in the import, storage, distribution, and marketing of fuel to cater to Sri Lanka’s energy requirements.
The representatives informed the Sri Lankan Government that their organization has adhered to the existing system and has applied accordingly.
They further conveyed their readiness to fully finance the construction of a refinery in Hambantota, which has been identified as a central energy hub by the government.
Moreover, the representatives stated that their company is prepared to respond to future solicitations that align with the aspirations of the country.
They also presented their proposal to the President who spoke about the import, storage and distribution of petroleum products.
Expressing his views, President Ranil Wickremesinghe further stated that Sri Lanka expects rapid development following the program with the International Monetary Fund.
President Wickremesinghe also expressed his desire to promote and attract foreign businesses to operate within the country in the future.