ECONOMYNEXT – The United States-based RM Parks has deposited a required performance bond and the first shipment may arrive in Sri Lanka within the next two months, while the launching of United Petroleum Australia is facing delay, the State Power & Energy Minister said.
Sri Lanka in July this year awarded retail fuel licenses to three foreign firms, namely, China’s Sinopec, United Petroleum Australia and US-based RM Parks to reduce the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s (CPC) pressure on finding foreign currency for the country’s whole fuel import.
Sinopec has already started operations.
“As of now, RM Park has already deposited a $1 million performance bond. They have informed us that they will deposit the $2 million license fee in the next week,” D V Chanaka said on Thursday (19).
“They need to bring the first shipment within 45 days from the day they pay the license fee.”
Sinopec is already importing fuel for $40 million monthly and if all three start operations in its full potential, the government can save up to $1.5 billion from fuel imports, he said.
The government has imposed conditions for all the three fuel retailers to use foreign currency from their mother company for imports while banning the repatriations of foreign currency from Sri Lanka.
United Petroleum Australia, the third new fuel retailer, however is facing a delay after a request in contrary to the earlier conditions.
“The United (Petroleum Australia) has requested for some time. They requested permission to remit dollars outside Sri Lanka. We did not allow that because the main objective of this is to find a solution (of lack of dollars we had in the past,” D V Chanaka said.
“So the objective was to import fuel using the dollars from the supplier’s country for one year and to increase competition. We will not deviate from our objectives.” (Colombo/Oct 21/2023)