Colombo, March 25 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka has begun construction on a 3.85 billion dollar oil refinery project in Hambantota, in southern Sri Lanka as part of the government’s plan to transform the island country into a global hub.
The project is the single largest foreign direct investment in Sri Lankan history and it is jointly funded by Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas and the Singapore-based Silver Park International, a company owned by an Indian family.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the the project and said the new oil refinery is the first of its kind to be set up in the country after 1967.
Addressing the gathering after the launch, Wickremesinghe said that work on the oil storage tanks are expected to be completed within two years while the refinery is due to be functional by 2023.
Once fully operational the refinery will export nine million tonnes of petroleum products annually.
Wickremesinghe said the government was confident of attracting more foreign investments into Hambantota in order to transform the area into a global investment zone.
“The investments in Hambantota will be by Sri Lankans, Indians, Chinese and the investment owned by the Omani Government and many other investors from other parts of the world. It shows that Hambantota will become a truly multi-national investment zone,” Wickremesinghe said.
“Today, Hambantota has a functional port with the help of China Merchants and our Ports Authority. There is also an LNG power plant that will be built here with the help of a Chinese investor. Today, we open an oil refinery here, which is a landmark moment since the opening of the 1967 oil refinery in Sapugaskanda. We have also launched a cement factory,” the Prime Minister added.
He added that in the future, thousands of jobs will also be created in Hambantota due to these projects which will uplift the livelihood of many families.
Oman’s Minister of Oil and Gas, Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhi who arrived in Sri Lanka over the weekend to take part in the launch of the Oil refinery said he was excited to be a part of the oil refinery project in Sri Lanka although his Ministry had last week said they had no knowledge of the project.