Sri Lanka in talks with two Chinese firms for $4 billion refinery
Posted on September 24th, 2017

Courtesy straitstimes.com

COLOMBO • Sri Lanka is in talks with two Chinese companies about investing up to US$3 billion (S$4 billion) to build a new refinery at its Chinese-controlled port, a top government official has said.

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 (B&R) trade route initiative.

Mr 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 US$2.5 billion and US$3 billion.

He did not name the Chinese companies.

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

“The refinery needs around 500 acres (200ha) of land and we can’t reserve the land. Many people try to get the land first and then look for investors,” he said. Mr 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, fuelled speculation that the port could be used for China’s 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, in an effort to allay concerns – including from Japan, the US 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.

Sri Lanka already has a deal for a 100,000 barrel-per-day (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, the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s decades-old 50,000- bpd plant, was originally configured to run on Iranian crude.

But Sri Lanka has had to import more refined oil products after US sanctions led it to stop imports from Iran.

LANDING THE DEAL

The refinery needs around 500 acres (200ha) of land and we can’t reserve the land. Many people try to get the land first and then look for investors.

MR MANGALA YAPA, a director of Sri Lanka’s state-run Board of Investment, on the process of investing in an oil refinery.

REUTERS

3 Responses to “Sri Lanka in talks with two Chinese firms for $4 billion refinery”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    “Minister of Justice and Foreign Employment, Thalatha Athukorala said that the aim of the government was to send more skilled workers to foreign countries for employment

    WHAT BLOODY POPPYCOCK and ARRANT NONSENSE is this!

    Our National AIM should be to RETAIN VOLUNTARILY our Skilled WORKERS at HOME to HELP BUILD our own country!

    The AIM SHOULD NOT BE TO EXPORT our Skilled Workers ABROAD to earn Foreign Exchange from their inward remittances, to buy MORE Luxury SUV’s for POLITICOS, and then TURN AROUND and PLEAD LACK of Skilled Workers and IMPORT them from other countries (such as Indians under the ETCA)!

    Keep our SKILLED WORKERS at HOME, train them more, surround them with PRODUCTIVITY ENHANCING modern tools and equipment, and ENABLE them to LIVE among their people in their OWN MOTHERLAND!

    DON’T set up a SCHEME to PERMANENTLY DISPLACE & REPLACE THEM with IMMIGRANT SETTLERS WORKERS from FOREIGN COUNTRIES!

    Have we NOT LEARNED ENOUGH from the IMPORTATION of Tamil Estate Laborers from India and the current INFLUX of Chinese Workers from China? I have no-problem with Chinese people, but committed as I am to protecting my own people in this small island nation, replacing our people with Chinese is something I definitely OPPOSE & REJECT!

    We are DESTROYING our own INDIGENOUS Sri Lankan Communities!

    BY GOD, this ASININE WATTI-AMMA “Minister” should be TARRED, FEATHERED and CHASED ALL THE WAY HOME to scrape coconuts in her kitchen!

    Am I the ONLY ONE SEEING the FUTURE IMPACT of these SELF-DESTRUCTIVE Government Policies??

    ………………………………………………..
    More Sri Lankan skilled workers go abroad for work
    Mon, Sep 25, 2017, 01:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Sept 25, Colombo: Minister of Justice and Foreign Employment, Thalatha Athukorala said that the aim of the government was to send more skilled workers to foreign countries for employment and it has been successful.

    According to the Foreign Employment Bureau statistics, during the past eight months from January to August 2017 the female percentage went abroad was 31.4 percent relative to the male migrant workers.

    She also pointed out that the through sending more skilled workers for employment opportunity has risen now to increase the foreign exchange earned.

    Accordingly, in the first eight months of this year 141,725 Sri Lankan migrant workers went abroad for work. Out of the total 48,374 were female migrant workers and 93,351 were males.

    Most of the migrant workers numbering 42,389 were from the Western Province while the lowest number of migrant workers were from the Uva Province totaling 3,994.

    During this period 37,002 housemaids have gone abroad while most of the migrant workers have been employed in Qatar.

    In the year 2016, the total number of migrant workers was 242,838, of which 160,320 were males. The number of female workers is 82518. Accordingly, 33.9 percent were female workers in comparison to male workers. Most of the migrant workers numbering 63,307 have been sent to Saudi Arabia.

    In 2011, 73,226 housemaids have been employed in foreign countries and 65,023 female migrant workers have gone overseas for work in 2016. The number of unskilled migrant workers has declined gradually during the five year-period.

    The number of women traveling for other professional jobs has increased. Accordingly, 17,429 women have gone abroad for professional employment in 2015 and 17,495 are engaged in professional jobs outside the country in 2016.

    All migrant workers who register with the Bureau of Foreign Employment prior to their departure will be able to enjoy the benefits provided by the government, the Minister said. The Bureau awards scholarships to the children of the registered migrant workers and the workers will also receive a free life insurance policy, the Ministers said.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    THALAPATHA HAS FOUND THE GOLD. AGENCY EXPORTING OUR POOR WOMEN, WILL CERTAINLY RECIPROCATE THALATHAS GOOD IDEA. IN SAUDI ARABIA, A SRILANKAN WOMAN HAD BEEN LOCKED UP IN THE WASHER ROOM, WHILE THE OCCUPANTS WENT ON A SPREE. {{{{REPREHENSIBLE}}}}. MEDIA REPORT. HEARTLESS ARABS.

  3. Dilrook Says:

    This is a worthy project and it must go ahead before India takes over the entirety of the petroleum industry in the island.

    The pro-Indian camp must not disrupt this deal. Despite politically organised protests, the Hambantota deal is not opposed by the people in the region. All the drama was only until the deal was signed.

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