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Oman’s oil minister Rumhy visits Sri Lanka over oil refinery project inauguration

oil-refinery sri lanka

Omani oil minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy attended the launch of an oil refinery project at Hambantota, Sri Lanka worth $3.85 billion. Last week, Oman Oil co showed its interest in holding a 30 per cent stake in what can be Sri Lanka’s largest foreign direct investment.

There were some glitches prior to the launch, though. Three days before the launch, an Omani official said that the country did not wish to invest in the project. Anyhow, the Rumhy flew to the island to join Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe at the inauguration.

Rumhy i his speech at the ceremony following the launch, said that the oil refinery is a “life long project” and that the country would strive to provide the people of Sri Lanka with the facility. But the Omani oil minister did not mention his plan on taking a stake in the refinery as of yet.

The major investor in this project is India-based Accord Group which would do so via a Singapore entity controlled by it.

The launch of the oil refinery has been quite an important event for the country as a project of this kind hasn’t seen light in 52 years. Earlier, Iran had constructed a 50,000-barrel-per-day refinery near Colombo (Sri Lanka’s capital), after which no such project had been undertaken.

The investment from Oman seems blurry, however, while a senior Sri Lankan minister claimed that Oman had committed to the investment, Salim al-Aufi – Oman’s oil and gas ministry – on Wednesday denied having any such plans.