China to enter Sri Lanka's fuel market

By Susitha Fernando

Colombo, Mar 14 (IANS): China expressed its plans to enter Sri Lanka's fuel market by investing on importing, storage, distribution and supply fuel to the Indian Ocean island nation which went through a severe fuel crisis.

A group of representatives from China's Sinopec Group met President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday and confirmed their readiness to fulfil the country's energy requirements.

During the discussion, Wickremesinghe said the government has taken a principled decision to expand the distribution of fuel which is expected to commence shortly, President's Media Division (PMD) said.

During Monday's discussion Sinopec, China's largest supplier of oil and petrochemical products has informed Sri Lanka that it was ready to fully finance the construction of a refinery in Hambantota, island's southern-most point- where there is a China-run port.

They also presented their proposal to President Wickremesinghe, who said that Sri Lanka expects rapid development following the programme with the International Monetary Fund from which a $2.9 billion bailout package is expected.

Wickremesinghe also expressed his desire to promote and attract foreign businesses to operate within the country in the future, the PMD said.

The move will mark the entrance of second private outside fuel supplier after India's Lanka IOC which runs an island wide distribution network with more than 200 retail outlets.

The state-run Ceylon Petroleum Corporatoin controls about 80 per cent of the fuel market.



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