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Sapugaskanda Refinery employees face uncertainty amidst restructuring plans

May 20, Colombo (LNW): Over 650 employees at the Sapugaskanda Refinery, Sri Lanka’s sole oil refinery, are at risk of losing their jobs due to its impending transformation into an independent public enterprise, local reports claim.

Only around 200 of the current workforce will be retained for the newly formed entity, according to government sources.

The remaining employees will be placed in a pool, from which the new enterprise will select the necessary personnel to sustain its operations.

In March, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal to operate the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery as a standalone state-owned business entity, separate from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CEYPETCO).

The government has recognised the need for a significant investment to modernise the refinery and extend its operational life by another 25 years.

Consequently, the decision has been made to operate the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery as an independent public enterprise and to seek Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for a strategic investment partner.

This partner will be responsible for upgrading the refinery’s infrastructure to address its current operational challenges.

The Minister of Power and Energy has also mentioned the potential relocation of the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery to Trincomalee in the future, with enhanced modern facilities and the development of the Tank Farm.

Established in 1969, the Sapugaskanda Refinery is the sole facility of its kind in Sri Lanka, meeting approximately 25% of the nation’s demand for refined petroleum products.

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