June 01, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s consumption of petroleum products has doubled in the three years since the end of a war an official said, as economic activity picked up requiring more energy to run the economy. Demand for petroleum products is going up despite higher prices, said R H S Samaratunga, secretary, Petroleum Industries Ministry.
“Almost a quarter of the import bill is spent on petroleum alone which is huge for any country,” said Samaratunga.
The island’s petroleum bill is equal to about 45 percent of total export proceeds.
But Sri Lanka earns foreign income from the export of labour (remittances) export of government debt (foreign borrowings) as well as tourism services and foreign investment which push up demand and activity within the country, requiring more energy.
“In the last three years the petroleum import bill has doubled, not only because of price increase but because of a huge volume increase as well,” Samaratunga said.
With the island’s sole 50,000 barrels-a-day refinery operated by the state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation now meeting only a third of the country’s total requirement for refined products, increased demand must be met by imports.
“If this tre