Acting on Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s instructions, the Government will commence construction of the largest petroleum refinery in Sri Lanka next year, Transport Management, Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera has announced.
According to a Ministry of Power & Energy media release, in making this announcement, the Minister had further pointed out that only 30% of the country’s total fuel requirement was refined domestically. The rest of the refined fuel is imported direct from foreign countries.
“Therefore, a large amount of money flows out from our country annually. In addition to the Sapugaskanda and Hambantota refineries, there is a need for another large scale refinery. Therefore, by next year, the construction of our country’s largest refinery will begin,” Amaraweera disclosed. This decision was taken as a result of a discussion held with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week, he disclosed.
Ministry sources were unavailable to comment on the possible location of the proposed refinery project. The Minister expressed these views while participating in a ceremony to lay the foundation stone for the construction of the Mulana Dikwala Bridge, yesterday. The bridge, to be built at a cost of Rs. 110 million, will benefit hundreds of families in the area.
In his speech, Minister Amaraweera also disclosed that it had also been confirmed that there are natural gas deposits in the Mannar area.
“Therefore, the Government has decided to commence drilling in the Mannar natural gas field,” he announced.
He said that some people were asking whether there would be a shortage of fuel due to the Iran-US tensions in the Persian Gulf these days.
“But there is no shortage of fuel and there is sufficient fuel reserves. The Government has begun a program to replenish our oil requirements to prevent any fuel shortages.”