Five more oil refineries, Sapugaskanda to be redeveloped: Minister

Only 20 per cent of local fuel consumption was refined in the country and therefore five oil refineries would be opened up apart from the plans to refurbishing the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, New Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said assuming duties at the Ministry this morning.

He also pledged to create energy conservation and stability in the country.

“I will take up the challenge to create energy conservation in the next five years. I believe I was appointed Energy Minister to fulfil the ‘national dream’ of making Sri Lanka an energy hub of Asia as outlined in the Mahinda Chinthana Manifesto in 2010,” he said.

Commenting on the imports of petroleum byproducts, Minister Gammanpila said the country spent a colossal sum to import petrochemicals.

“To address this issue, factories will be set up in the country shortly to create all byproducts varying from tar to ingredients of plastic. We expect to lure foreign investors for this task,” he said.

Meanwhile, he said that talks have been ongoing for over 50 years about the oil and gas deposits in the Mannar basin but no successful attempts had been made to excavate.

“If the gas and oil deposit could be excavated, experts believe that the entire country could be developed,” he said.

Responding to a question whether the fuel prices would be revised, Minister Gammanpila said the government's policy was to maintain stabilised fuel prices as much as possible.

Ven. Dr Bellanwila Dhammaratana Nayaka and the members of Maha Sangha, Ministers Wimal Weerawansa and Prasanna Ranatunga, State Ministers, Energy Ministry Secretary K.D. R. Olga and the parents of Minister Gammanpila were also present. (Lahiru Pothmulla)



Pix by Pradeep Dilrukshana

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