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China’s Sinopec secures deal for oil refinery in H’tota

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Sri Lanka and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) have finalized an agreement for the establishment of a major oil refinery in Hambantota.

Under the deal, Sri Lanka secures the right to purchase 20% of the refinery’s production, paving the way for significant economic benefits.

The selection of Sinopec, following a rigorous bidding process, signals a strategic partnership aimed at bolstering Sri Lanka’s energy security and economic prospects.

A Treasury official highlighted the advantages, emphasizing the nation’s ability to acquire fuel at a concessionary price, along with reduced freight charges and insurance benefits.

The Hambantota refinery is expected to refine 100,000 barrels of crude oil daily in its initial phase, with plans for gradual capacity expansion.

Sinopec’s substantial investment of US$1.7 billion during the first stage, spanning four years, lays the foundation for anticipated overall investments exceeding US$4.5 billion in the long term.

In addition to fuel procurement, the agreement enables Sinopec to participate in Sri Lanka’s fuel supply tenders, leveraging its local refinery for potential bids.

The refinery is poised to play a pivotal role in the bunkering business, further solidifying the economic ties between China and Sri Lanka.

The collaboration is a significant milestone in fostering economic cooperation between the two nations, offering promising prospects for Sri Lanka’s energy sector and the broader economy.

Source – The Sunday Times

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CID investigates blackmail case involving actress and ex-boyfriend

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) informed Colombo Chief Magistrate Prasanna Alwis that they have launched an investigation into a complaint by a popular actress. 

The actress alleged that her ex-boyfriend, currently residing abroad, blackmailed her by threatening to publish nude photos online unless she transferred money to him.

The CID stated that the actress and her boyfriend were in a relationship for about four years, and after her rise to fame, she ended the relationship. 

The ex-boyfriend retaliated by threatening to publish nude photos, prompting the actress to transfer money to prevent the act. 

The CID requested permission to obtain reports on the relevant bank accounts, and the Magistrate granted the request, instructing the CID to complete the investigation and report its findings to the Court.

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Google maps error leads drunken men to scale wall of ‘Temple Trees’

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Two individuals who scaled the wall of ‘Temple Trees,’ the official residence of the Prime Minister in Colombo, have cited a Google Maps error for their presence within the highly fortified premises. 

The suspects, aged 28, claimed that they were following Google Maps directions to their rented residence on Muhandiram Road when the route ended near a large wall.

According to their confession, after having drinks at a bar in Kollupitiya, they believed their residence was on the other side of the wall and decided to scale it. 

Officers of the Prime Minister’s Security Division apprehended the individuals, subsequently handing them over to the Kollupitiya Police.

The suspects, one working as a software engineer and the other as a merchant seaman, were released on Police bail. They are scheduled to appear in court on March 14. 

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SL wins 1st T20I by 3 runs

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Sri Lanka won the 1st T20I match against Bangladesh by 03 runs, after a thrilling game.

Winning the toss, Bangladesh invited the visitors to bat first, where the visiting Sri Lankans scored 206/3 before limiting the Bangladesh team to 203/8.

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