USD 2bn overhaul of Sapugaskanda to begin this year?


by Maheesha Mudugamuwa

Petroleum Resources Development Minister Chandima Weerakkody is confident of overhauling the country’s only oil refinery this year.

He told the media in Colombo recently that the report on overhauling Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery was expected to be submitted this month and nearly 30 parties had already expressed their willingness to commission studies.

Referring to a meeting between the Minister and his Iranian counterpart, Weerakkody said a final decision had not yet been taken since the Iran was still reeling from the effects of economic sanctions which were only lifted last year.

The Minister said the overhauling of the Sapugaskanda Refinery would cost about USD two billion.

He said: "We have a framework. Once the report is approved, I will be in a position to explain how funding are going to be raised."

The Sapugaskanda oil refinery completed in 1969 produced 100 percent of the country’s requirement of refined petroleum products until about 1990; however it can now meet only 30 percent of the refined products for requirement.

Minister Weerakkody said the Sapugaskanda refinery would also be used as a training centre for about 100 people at time.

They would be able to receive job opportunities not only in Sri Lanka but in Arabic countries as well once the training programme got underway, he added.

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