The Petroleum Resources Development Ministry is planning to present a Cabinet paper within the next two to three weeks on the third round of liberalisation of Sri Lanka’s lubricant industry, based on a 2016 budget proposal, Petroleum Resources Development Upali Marasinghe told journalists, this week.
“Once we obtain the Cabinet approval, we will advertise on newspapers calling proposals from prospective organisations to consider issuing import licences,” Marasinghe said.
He said the government may issue five to six new import licences. However, he noted that the number of new import licences to be issued would depend on the soundness of the proposals.
“If nine to 10 organisations come up with strong proposals, we will have to issue (licences) for them,” he said.
Marasinghe said that the ministry in an earlier occasion decided not to go ahead with the liberalisation plans considering the objections from certain players in the market.
However, he said the ministry decided to go ahead with the third round of liberalisation following a study, which found evidence backing the liberalisation of Sri Lanka’s lubricant market to allow new players.
Sri Lanka has 13 market players and 22 authorized lubricant brands while around 70 percent of the lubricant market is served by 10 licence holders. The large market players such as Chevron Lubricants, which had a 45 percent market share in 2016, had opposed further liberalisation, citing the already present leading global lubricant brands in the local market place and the limited capacity of the market to grow further.Petroleum Resources Development Ministry Additional Secretary A.H.S. Wijesinghe earlier said that the licences would be issued through a special committee compromising of representatives from the ministry, lubricant industry shadow regulator, the Public Utilities Commission and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
He also said the ministry is planning to issue licences to import lubricants according to the recommendations of the original vehicle engine manufacturers. (N.F)
Kishu quits Chevron Lanka
In a surprising move, long-serving Chevron Lanka Lubricants PLC MD/CEO Kishu Gomes yesterday announced his resignation from the firm, with immediate effect, after heading it for about 17 years.
A stock exchange filing by the company said the current Chevron Lanka Chairperson Rochna Kaul took over as the acting CEO/MD, following Gomes’ resignation.
Kaul has 13 years of experience at Chevron and is responsible for the sales and marketing of finished lubricants and coolants in the Southeast Asian markets and Pakistan.
Gomes joined Caltex in 1997 and became the first Sri Lankan MD/CEO of Caltex Lubricants Lanka Limited and Caltex Ceylon Limited in 2001.