Sri Lanka currently possesses a very old refinery in Sapugaskanda, that refines about 30% of its oil requirements from crude, and purchases the rest of its requirements as refined petroleum. This is hugely costly and very inefficient and a further hit on the import bill. The massive increase in motor vehicles to this country in the past 10 years has meant that the usage in that period has tripled with no relief in sight for a home grown solution. See the link below for the problems we continually encounter, when our importers cannot even ensure that the petroleum conforms to basic requirements.
Another major issue has been that our current refinery can only refine Iranian Light Sweet Crude, and not other types of crude oil. The recent Iranian oil embargo, where Sri Lanka received special treatment due to this limitation, affected our ability to fulfill our basic requirements.
There have not been ANY reports of an impending solution to this crisis, when we have so many unwanted projects for which we have borrowed money at exorbitant interest rates, and which are unlikely to give a return on investment in the short term, The still non-functioning Norochcholai Coal Power Station, Hambantota Port and the Mattala Airport to name a few. ( was not opposed to Norochcholai, but to what turned out to be old outdated technology with second hand me downs from China causing the cost overruns and production inefficiencies & 25 breakdowns)
I know that in the UNP list of priorities should they form a Govt. this comes very near the top of what will be carried out and feasibility reports and locations are currently being studied with room for expansion, not just for current requirements to ensure an efficient plant where all by products can be used with the latest technology. Even financing at very low rates of interest is being sought, at less than half the rates of interest the Current Govt. is borrowing from China’s banks with a serious question of the ethics of the transactions.
Once the refinery is in full operation there will be surplus initially for export, and will save the country US$2B per annum in the import bill. You can just imagine why this govt. does not like that!!!! There are huge kickbacks in the current crude purchases and interested parties do not even want the possibility of their gravy train being disrupted by even talk of a new refinery.
I implore the Govt. to work immediately at solving this and not wait for a UNP Govt. to solve it, in the NATIONAL interest if they really are patriotic!!!