Construction work has started on a $3.9bn (OMR1.5bn) oil refinery in Sri Lanka that is jointly funded by Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Singapore-based Silver Park International, an investment company owned by India’s family-run Accord Group.
The oil refinery is being built near Sri Lanka’s Port of Hambantota, which was leased to a Chinese state-owned company in 2017 for 99 years.
Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranila Wickremesinghe said Hambantota would attratct greater foreign investments following the refinery's completion.
Upon commencing operations in 2023, the refinery will export nine million tonnes of petroleum products each year.
Oil storage tanks for the project are expected to complete within two years.
Oman Oil Minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al Rumhy joined the Sri Lankan PM during a ceremony held to lay the refinery's foundation.
"The interest shown by the Oman government [and] many other investors from other parts of the world shows that Hambantota will become a truly international investment zone," Wickremesinghe said, according to an Arabian Business report citing AFP.
A Reuters report earlier in March 2019 said Oman Oil Company had expressed an interest in acquiring a 30% stake in the refinery. However, an Omani official refuted these claims.