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Oman denies it has agreed to invest in SL oil refinery project

21 March 2019 03:28 am - 7     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Oman’s oil ministry on Wednesday denied being part of a $3.85 billion plan to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, a day after the government in Colombo announced the Arab country’s participation.

Sri Lankan officials told a news conference on Tuesday that a joint venture between the Oman oil ministry and a Singapore investment vehicle owned by India’s Accord Group had agreed to build the 200,000 barrel per day refinery near Chinese-controlled Hambantota port on the island’s south coast.

The ministry was to take a 30 percent stake, the officials said, representing what would be Sri Lanka’s biggest single foreign direct investment.

“No one on this side of the panel is aware of this investment in Sri Lanka,” Salim al-Aufi, undersecretary of Oman’s ministry of oil and gas, told a news conference on Wednesday.

“It came as news to me, I don’t know who is signing the cheque for $3.8 billion.”

An industry source familiar with the discussions said that there had been talks concerning the project that involved Oman but that they were at an early stage.

The Director General of Sri Lanka’s state-run Board of Investment, Champika Malalgoda, said after the Oman government denial that as far as she was concerned the deal announced on Tuesday was still going ahead.

“We approved the project for a joint venture of Singapore company and Oman,” she said, with the Oman taking a 30 percent stake in the refinery venture.

Any big deal in Sri Lanka involving Indian investment will pose a challenge to China, which had until recently been on track to be the dominant foreign investor on the island.

India has become concerned in recent years about China muscling into Sri Lanka and other countries in a region where India is the traditional power.

China is the biggest buyer of Omani oil, importing about 80 percent of the Middle Eastern nation’s overall crude exports in January, according to an Oman government website. (Reuters)

  Comments - 7

  • Damitha Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:08 AM

    Wolkswagon part 2

    Jaliya Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:09 AM

    It's not Oman or Singapore but it is .. O' Man my plans to beat the anti-money laundering laws are in the drain !! Any crappy deal by the Indians is as good as their words ... which has zero merits. Singapore, Sri Lanka and India are the Asian countries which has poor anti-money laundering laws. In the books they're seems to be following it to the letter but in reality each country is looking after their own well being and nothing else. I know of a few sri lankans who are a frequent travelers to Singapore on business class and stay in hotels that are five star and beyond, who has an income of 125K per month. They know the secret to money laundering which most of us are not familiar with and willing to work as scapegoats for a fully paid luxury trip.

    chamal Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:11 AM

    like car factory!

    Unchikun Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:26 AM

    I am not surprised. No country or organization will be comfortable in investing in a country will no political stability and mounting debt. Common sense.

    wimal thenuwara Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:37 AM

    Anther Volkswagen?

    Oily Thursday, 21 March 2019 08:44 AM

    Oil is as slippery as the investors !!!!

    Unchikun Thursday, 21 March 2019 10:00 AM

    This news of this project was disclosed by a nutty MP who have does not even know the contents of the Sri Lanka constitution. I observed this during the TV debate.


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