Australia’s United Petroleum expands to Sri Lanka's fuel market
Photo courtesy of United Petroleum

Australia’s United Petroleum expands to Sri Lanka’s fuel market

United Petroleum, an independent, 100% Australian-owned fuel and convenience company, has successfully completed the application to acquire a license to venture into Sri Lanka’s retail petroleum products market.

The license was officially sealed through a contract signing between Dr. Sulakshana Jayawardena, secretary of the Ministry of Power and Energy, and Eddie Hirsch, the owner of United Petroleum. The ceremony, organized by the ministry, marks a pivotal moment for the company.

United Petroleum is the final foreign entity among three to fulfill the government’s formalities for market entry. This follows the Sri Lankan government’s decision to diversify its retail petroleum sector by granting licenses to international firms including China’s Sinopec, United Petroleum, and U.S.-based RM Parks in partnership with Shell PLC. This strategic move aims to dismantle the longstanding duopoly held by Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), the largest oil company in Sri Lanka, under the ownership of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources Development, and Lanka IOC PLC, a subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation which operates retail petrol and diesel stations in Sri Lanka. LIOC has an island-wide distribution network of 213 retail outlets.

While Sinopec and RM Parks swiftly completed their entry formalities within two months, with Sinopec already operational, United Petroleum now joins the fray. The company is set to manage 150 dealer-operated fuel stations currently under CPC and will also initiate the construction of 50 new fuel stations under its brand. However, details regarding the commencement of operations remain unspecified.

With a network of more than 500 fuel stations across Australia and operations in Singapore, United Petroleum is a billion-dollar enterprise renowned for its commitment to quality, safety, and environmental standards. The company’s entry into Sri Lanka is anticipated to introduce best practices into the local retail petroleum market, significantly enhancing product and service quality for Sri Lankan consumers.

To facilitate its operations in Sri Lanka, United Petroleum has established a local entity, United Petroleum Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd. The company has appointed Dr. Prabath Samarasinghe, a former CEYPETCO board member with a distinguished career in the petroleum sector, as director and CEO of its Sri Lankan operations.

The liberalization of Sri Lanka’s retail fuel market is expected to ensure a consistent and reliable fuel supply, marking a new era in the country’s energy sector.

Source: Daily Mirror