Adding Layers

Apr.06 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has sought a US$500 million loan from Saudi Arabia to double its oil refinery capacity, Energy Minister A H M Fowzie said Thursday. State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) had presented a concept paper to the Saudi government, when a ministerial delegation visited the oil kingdom recently.

“We asked for a US$500 million soft loan repayable in 15-years from the Saudi Fund and the Saudi King gave us a very favourable response,” Fowzie told reporters adding that a Saudi delegation was due in the coming months to expand on this proposal.

CPC is hunting for funds to double the 50,000 barrel per day capacity at their Sapugaskanda refinery, to process high value fuels, its Chairman Jaliya Medagama said.

Sri Lanka imports its entire light crude requirements from Iran (70 percent), Malaysia (20 percent) and Saudi Arabia (10 percent) refining about 2-million metric tonnes locally.

The balance is imported as refined products.

Sri Lanka consumes around 30 million litres of petrol, 130 million litres of diesel and 18 million litres of kerosene each month.

Medagama says the refinery will take four years to build.