Second Try

Dec 02, 2007 – Sri Lanka’s plans to double its refinery capacity, which were dealt a severe blow after politicians fixed fuel prices last August, would take off with Iranian help in 2008, officials said. . The government of Iran would first fund and conduct a feasibility study and give a loan with a ten year pay-back to fund the expansion which will see the refinery capacity boosted to 100,000 barrels a day from the current 50,000.

“It is expected to cost around 700 million dollars but we will know the exact amount after the feasibility study which will be conducted free by Iran,” Petroleum minister A H M Fowzie said.

Iran itself is suffering from a severe shortage of refinery capacity forcing the country to import petrol – which is subsidized – at the cost of billions of dollars.

In late 2007 the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) advertised for consultants to conduct a feasibility study but the plan went off the rails after politicians fixed fuel prices again in July.

The automatic pricing formula died a premature death after being in operation for only two months.

CPC Chairman Ashantha de Mel is hoping to install a hydro-cracker which will boost the output o