Final Stretch

Nov 03, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government is scheduled to wrap up the purchase of liquefied petroleum gas distribution operations of Royal Dutch Shell for 63 million US dollars today, officials said. Another 24 million US dollars had been invested in building other infrastructure. Hiran Seneviratne, a spokesman for Shell said an agreement with the government is scheduled to be signed today.

Sri Lanka is to buy a 51 percent stake in Shell Gas Lanka, which is a distributor in which the government already has 49 percent stake and a 100 percent stake in a storage terminal company.

Sirisena Amarasekera, a senior government official who heads a state committee in charge of the deal said out of the total of 63 million US dollars paid for the Shell units, 6.3 million US dollars would be set aside to deal with potential issues related to workers.

Petroleum minister Susil Premajayanth said yesterday that there was management expertise within the gas distributor to run it and he did not see a need to bring in outside management.

Shell is selling out of regional gas distributorships as part of its global strategy. Sri Lanka’s information minister Keheliya Rambukwella said earlier that the gov