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Sri Lanka begins work on $3.9B refinery near China-run port

March 24, 2019

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) — Work has begun on a $3.9 billion oil refinery to be funded by a Singapore-Oman joint venture next to a Chinese-run port in what will be Sri Lanka’s largest foreign investment ever.

The refinery and a tank farm will be built on 237 hectares (585 acres) of land lying about 235 kilometers (146 miles) south of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, near the Hambantota port that is controlled by a Chinese firm.

The investment comes as Sri Lanka struggles to repay $5.9 billion in foreign loans this year, of which 40 percent must be serviced by the end of this month. The Indian Ocean island nation used its reserves to repay a $1 billion sovereign bond loan in January.