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SL in talks with two Chinese firms for $3 billion refinery

23 September 2017 02:49 pm - 9     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Sri Lanka is in talks with two Chinese companies about investing up to $3 billion to build in a new refinery at its Chinese-controlled port, a top government official said on Friday.

Sri Lanka wants to build a new refinery in its southern Hambantota port, where China Merchants Port Holdings (CMPH) has a 99-year lease to handle commercial operations.

Located near the main shipping route from Asia to Europe, Hambantota port is likely to play a key role in China’s “Belt and Road” trade route initiative.

Mangala Yapa, a director at the state-run Board of Investment, said two Chinese companies had put forward a joint venture proposal for the refinery, which is expected to produce 5 million tonnes per annum with an investment between $2.5 billion and $3 billion. He did not name the Chinese firms.

“The investment is large and we are discussing with the two companies on that basis,” he told Reuters, adding the joint venture plan was chosen from three bids including one from a U.S. company through a local partner.

“The refinery needs around 500 acres of land and we can’t reserve the land. Many people try to get the land first and then look for investors.”

Yapa did not elaborate on the plans of the proposed refinery.

China’s influence over Hambantota port has sparked widespread anger in Sri Lanka.

The deal with CMPH, which has a majority stake in the lease, fueled speculation the port could be used for Chinese naval vessels. CMPH is also in talks with the government to develop an industrial zone next door.

This year, the government revised its original deal with CMPH to give greater influence to the Sri Lankan Ports Authority to try to allay concerns - including from Japan, the United States and India - that the port might be used for military purposes.

The investment zone deal is yet to be signed.

The Hambantota refinery will be the second new refinery the island nation has planned in the country.

Sri Lanka already has a deal for a 100,000 barrels per day-plus (bpd) refinery with Indian Oil Corp at the country’s eastern port city of Trincomalee with the aim of exporting fuel.

Sri Lanka’s sole oil refinery, state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s decades-old 
50,000 bpd plant, was originally configured to run on Iranian crude and Sri Lanka had to import more refined oil products after U.S. sanctions led it to stop imports from Iran.(Reuters)

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  Comments - 9

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  • senanayake Saturday, 23 September 2017 05:17 PM

    Belive it not what every investment Chinees make not for Sri Lankan and they make sure only Chinese people and its interest it maintains. Come to Sydney and see not single Non-Chinees work for a Chinese company or shops and they do not recruit even boss recruited, Chinees staff will make sure non-Chinese (dark or brown skin) will resign its own within few days. You can see a number of Chinese shops in Colombo and they even try to buy jewellery shops in Colombo. Introduces Friends website ( find a woman). Its long-term strategy so one on Sri Lankan will raise the head. how many massage spots. One good thing was stray dogs are disappearing from the street. The politician should think about its future prospects and it's for its own citizens and not for to gain marks using traps given by other countries to secure our strategic location. Some of the ministers are working for foreign intelligence and messing up with our fellow citizens helped us to shape up Sri Lankan economy. GOD BLEE

    cisco Saturday, 23 September 2017 05:35 PM

    Hon. PM now Chinese investment are good. When it was port city it was not good. Because of you how lost momentum of development had with Sri Lanka. via DM Android App

    kumaran Saturday, 23 September 2017 06:26 PM

    Good. But PLEASE do not take loans from them. Also insist on a restriction of the number of Chinese labour and technicians. You may also consider a BOOT with U.S., Canadian, and European entities. Why is it always and only with the Chinese?! And Indians?

    Ruvin Monday, 25 September 2017 07:59 PM

    Seriously.Is India and China the whole world???? We only have these two countries interested in us???Where is Germany? Nordic countries? France? even Arab?

    SeriouSena Saturday, 23 September 2017 09:47 PM

    We don't need refineries and depend on crude. We should invest in alternate energy instead you BLOODY FOOLS!

    Hari Mani Saturday, 23 September 2017 09:53 PM

    Stop a single company monopolizing a company's economy. Its not healthy for the national security and the image of the country.

    Wise Donkey Saturday, 23 September 2017 10:54 PM

    What is happening to the oil story related to off shore drilling with some Indian companies which was hitting the lines for sometimes. Suddenly we don't hear anything at all. Years ago during Sirimavo's time pro government newspapers carried headlines in Sinhala 'Kantalen thel' -oil from Kanthale, this too died a natural death.

    ceylon Saturday, 23 September 2017 11:02 PM

    where is stupid india.as allways next year they cry for chinese have monopoly in lanka. via DM Android App

    Virendra Monday, 25 September 2017 07:10 PM

    What has India got to do with this plan? They are already planning for one refinery in Trincomalee. Anyway, if Lankan govt has not learnt anything from Hambantota fiasco, they never will.


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