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China’s Energy Major to Establish $4.5B Refinery at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port

The deep water shipping port and Chinese dredging ships work in Hambantota, 240km southeast of Colombo, March 24, 2010.

Posted on November 29, 2023

The Sri Lankan Cabinet has given clearance to allow China’s energy major Sinopec to establish a new USD 4.5 billion petroleum refinery plant at the strategic Hambantota port in the island nation, Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said on Monday.

The upcoming plant of Sinopec, which entered the Sri Lankan market in July this year, would be the largest foreign direct investment with USD 4.5 billion for Sri Lanka.

“The Cabinet has granted its approval on Monday to allow China’s Sinopec to establish a new petroleum refinery plant at Hambantota port,” Wijesekara said. He said that the new refinery will be supplemented with an associated products training centre.

Hambantota is Sri Lanka’s second largest port after Colombo port. The port was opened in 2010 and since 2017 it has been managed under a joint venture between the Sri Lanka Port Authority and the China Merchant Ports known as the Hambantota International Port Group. The port’s construction was funded under a commercial loan by the Exim Bank China.

The large Chinese investment in Sri Lanka follows state-run China Merchant Port Holdings’ 99-year lease at Hambantota port in 2017 and another million deal to build a logistics and storage hub in Colombo port.


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