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United Petroleum Australia to begin operations mid-2024 in Sri Lanka

March 15, Colombo (LNW): United Petroleum Australia which has entered into Sri Lanka’s petroleum retail operations last month, plans to obtain their licence to commence operations with effect from mid-2024, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera 

Taking to ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), the Minister revealed that the Australian-owned petroleum retailer and importer plans to sign an agreement with the Board of Investment (BOI) and obtain the relevant licence mid this year. 

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the United Petroleum Group, Nigel Simonsz, visited the Ministry on Thursday (14 March), and updated those present on their plans anticipated schedule as to when retail operations will commence in Sri Lanka.

On 22 February, United Petroleum of Australia signed an agreement with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Power and Energy to supply petroleum products into the local market.

The agreement was signed by Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy Dr. Sulakshana Jayawardena on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka, and Eddie Hirsch, on behalf of United Petroleum Australia, in his capacity as the owner of the company

The Australian-owned petroleum retailer and importer was assigned 150 fuel stations across Sri Lanka, and was also given the right to build 50 new fuel stations.

As such, United Petroleum Australia incorporated a company in Sri Lanka under the name ‘United Petroleum Lanka Pvt. Ltd.’, to carry out operations within the country, with former Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO) Board Member Dr. Prabath Samarasinghe having been appointed as the Director and CEO of the company.

United Petroleum Australia Pty Ltd has finalised a contract with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Power and Energy to provide petroleum products within the local market. 

This venture marks United Petroleum Australia’s inaugural foray into retail petroleum beyond Australian borders, boasting a portfolio of over 500 fuel stations within Australia.

 Commenting on the expansion, a spokesperson for United Petroleum Lanka emphasised the company’s commitment to quality, safety, and environmental standards, expressing a dedication to enhancing product and service quality in the Sri Lankan market.

The approval for United Petroleum Australia’s entry into Sri Lanka’s fuel retail market was part of a broader initiative initiated by the Sri Lankan Government in March 2023. 

This initiative saw licences granted to several international companies, including China’s Sinopec, Australia’s United Petroleum and RM Parks of the USA, in collaboration with multinational oil and gas company Shell PLC. 

 These developments align with the Sri Lankan Government’s decision in 2022 to liberalise the fuel import and retail sales market, aiming to address the country’s foreign exchange crisis.

The approval of the Petroleum Products (Special Provisions) Bill by the ministerial consultative committee on power and energy paved the way for new suppliers to participate in the local fuel market as importers, distributors, and retail operators of petroleum products.

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