Written by Staff Writer
05 Apr, 2019 | 9:54 pm
Colombo (News 1st): Adding concern to the growing controversy surrounding the Hambanthota Oil Refinery Project in Sri Lanka, Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara revealed details of yet another oil refinery with similar characteristics.
According to the deputy minister, this project is a flagship mega project. Attending a media briefing held at the government news department, Deputy Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Nalin Bandara revealed details regarding this investment.
He noted that there is another oil refinery project, with an investment of US$ 14 billion. He noted that this refinery which has a capacity of producing 420,000 barrels a day is a Singaporean Company.
The Deputy Minister noted that they (Singaporean Company) held talks with the government yesterday and if the government is willing to release the lands, they are prepared to start construction on this 2nd oil refinery. He added that would like to reply to those who are spiteful and envious of these projects through action.
The Daily Mirror reports that the oil refinery in question is to be constructed by a Singapore based company named Sujih Energy International.
This is a mega project with a value of US$ 14 billion. The Daily Mirror further says that US$ 24 billion will be invested for the second phase of this project.
Questions have been raised as to the capability of the investor who is apparently spearheading a major investment of US$ 14 billion, with a further US$ 24 billion to follow.
Questions continue to be raised as to the investor’s track record to undertake projects of this financial magnitude and the technical expertise necessary to implement this project which may have far-reaching consequences for Sri Lanka’s energy security.
The parent company of Sujih International is PT Sujih Energy linked to Indonesia. PT Sujih Energy is owned by a Singapore based company named Silver Forest.
What is astounding is, Sujih Energy International is directly connected to Mossak Fonseca, the Panamanian law firm at the center of the Panama Papers scandal.
Sujih Energy International was registered in the British Virgin Islands back in 2010, which is another place popular for facilitating money laundering and acting as a tax haven.
What is even more surprising is the investor coming in for the Hambanthota project I named Silver Park International PTE Ltd while the latest investor’s company is named Silver Forest. There appears to be a remarkable coincidence in the choice of name.
Is Deputy Minister Nalin Bandara making these claims without proper knowledge of the underlying issue??
When the Hambantota Oil Refinery project was inaugurated, Transparency International Sri Lanka believed the project may have a negative impact on Sri Lanka in terms of its vulnerability to money laundering and terrorism financing.
In the meantime, it should be noted that Sri Lanka is a signatory to the UN Charter on corruption. Sri Lanka’s commitment to upholding the values and principles enshrined in the UN Charter on corruption is underscored by the fact that the 19th amendment to the constitution of Sri Lanka also makes reference to this important charter.
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