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Fossil Fuel, Gas will be produced here within next four years

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He added that the country could prevent outflow of USD 350 million for the import of fossil fuel, which is the equal amount being spent on chemical fertilizer. He added this is the only long term solution to address the fuel price hike.

He said that within the next two weeks, the Government will publish the Fossil Fuel Resources Development Act in the gazette to achieve this end.

He added that the country is gifted with this resource and a separate unit was set up at the CPC in 1964 to study the matter.

He was responding to Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) Parliamentarian Chaminda Wijesiri during the Round of Questions for Oral Answers.

Minister Gammanpila said that plans are afoot to set up a new refinery to address the fuel price increase in the country as well. He added that the Feasibility Test is being finalised to construct the refinery, which could refine 100,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

It is two-fold of the size of the Sapugaskanda refinery when its capacity is considered to cater the daily requirement of the country, locally. He said that the Government will renovate the Sapugaskanda Refinery.

He said that the foundation stone to construct the Sapugaskanda Refinery was laid on May 7, 1967 while refining the crude oil commenced on August 7, 1969. It was inaugurated on October 22, 1969. At the outset, it had the capacity to refine 50,000 barrels a day but the production has dropped to 38,000 barrels.

When MP Wijesiri inquired if the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka influenced them to get the tender of the Rs 600 billion Project for them, Minister Gammanpila said that Ambassadors were trying to get those projects to their countries. He added that the US Ambassador, too, met him and discussed and he had informed the Prime Minister and the President about the discussions.

He said that he informed the US Ambassador to make the bid and it would be granted to the best bidder from the country’s point of view as the Project is one of the biggest in the country.

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