June 20, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is holding talks with Iran to get more funds to expand its sole oil refinery after new feasibility studies indicated the cost would rise to two billion US dollars, an official said. Titus Jayewardene, secretary to the petroleum ministry, said the cost of the modernisation to double refining capacity to 100,000 barrels a day had previously been estimated at 1.5 billion dollars.
Iran had promised to provide credit to fund the upgrade at the refinery in Sapugaskande, a northern suburb of Colombo.
“Right now we are having negotiations with Iran to try to obtain the extra 500 million US dollars,” Jayawardene told Vimasuma.com, our sister news website.
“We can proceed with the modernisation of the refinery if we can reach an agreement on the increased funding.”
Jayawardene said the upgrade would take about 30 months.
The modernisation, which had earlier been set to begin in early 2011, has already been delayed by several years as the government lacked funds.