Oman’s Oil Ministry yesterday (20) denied being part of a $3.85 billion plan to build an oil refinery in Sri Lanka, a day after the Government in Colombo announced the Arab country’s participation.
Sri Lankan officials told a news conference on Tuesday (19) that a joint venture between the Oman Oil Ministry and a Singapore investment vehicle owned by India’s Accord Group had agreed to build the 200,000 barrel per day refinery near the Chinese-controlled Hambantota Port on the island’s South coast.
The Ministry was to take a 30 per cent stake, the officials said, representing what would be Sri Lanka’s biggest single foreign direct investment.
“No one on this side of the panel is aware of this investment in Sri Lanka,” Undersecretary of Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas, Salim al-Aufi told a news conference yesterday (20).
“It came as news to me, I don’t know who is signing the cheque for $3.8 billion.”
An industry source familiar with the discussions said that there had been talks concerning the project that involved Oman but that they were at an early stage.
The Director General of Sri Lanka’s State-run Board of Investment, Champika Malalgoda, said after the Oman Government’s denial that as far as she was concerned the deal announced on Tuesday (19) was still going ahead.
“We approved the project for a joint venture of the Singapore company and Oman,” she said, with Oman taking a 30% stake in the refinery venture.
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