Power & Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera says the three Cabinet-approved foreign oil companies are expected to commence their fuel distribution operations in Sri Lanka within the next two months.

Sri Lanka plans to ink respective agreements with the three companies in the coming two weeks, said the lawmaker, who joined the political talk show “360°” on TV Derana on Monday night.

Last week, the Cabinet of Ministers green-lighted the proposal to grant retail licenses to China-based Sinopec, Australia-based United Petroleum and US-based RM Parks Inc., in collaboration with Shell PLC.

The Cabinet approval came after the relevant procurement committees gave their go-ahead and recommendations to award the three companies retail licenses to operate in Sri Lanka.

In March, President Ranil Wickremesinghe-led government decided on the divestiture of seven key state-owned enterprises (SOEs) including the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, SriLankan Airlines, Sri Lanka Telecom. To this end, the government also set up an SOE Restructuring Unit.

According to Wijesekera, each company will handle 150 CPC dealer-operated filling stations in the local market.

At present, a total of 1,142 filling stations are under the purview of the CPC, however, the corporation fully owns only 234 of them, the minister explained, adding that 450 out of the remaining 908 filling stations owned by private distributors would be allocated to the three foreign oil companies.

In addition, these firms will be permitted to establish up to 50 filling stations of their own in the country, Wijesekera said further.

source adaderana