Oct 18, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Petroleum which has a 95 percent market share in bitumen, is looking for an investor to set up and run a plant to pack tar into barrels petroleum minister Susil Premajayantha said. “We are looking for an investor who can open a plant to pack barrels,” the minister said. “If we import tar in bulk and pack here we can save money.”
State-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporation produces tar as a by-product of its refinery but Sri Lanka also imports tar. But tar needs to be packed in barrels to distributed to contractors and government agencies that build and maintain roads in the country.
Lanka IOC, a unit of India’s Indian Oil Corporation, has recently entered the bitumen market in Sri Lanka.
Chief executive Suresh Shah said his firm had about 5.0 percent of the market so far and was importing tar from Singapore and the Middle East to sell in Sri Lanka.
At the moment Sri Lanka’s bitumen market is estimated at about 10,000 tonnes a month.
Sri Lanka is now re-building its road network, especially in former war torn areas in the north and the east. A World Bank funded project is also re-building rural roads.