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Sri Lanka unrest fuels IOC fears

However, the IOC said it was determined to go ahead with its plan to set up a lubricant blending plant in Colombo.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2006 17:58 IST

Indian Oil Corp's Sri Lankan unit on Thursday expressed concern over the unrest in the north-eastern district of Trincomalee following attacks by Colombo against Tamil Tiger positions but said it was determined to go ahead with its plan to set up a lubricant blending plant there.

"Our work is cut out, we need to ensure that supply lines continue, because the nation must move, inspite of security situation near our tank farms," Lanka IOC's Managing Director, K Ramakrishnan told Lanka Business Online website.

The IOC facilities were not affected by the recent unrest in Trincomalee, but the volatile situation in the region is causing logistical problems, local officials said.

The Fortune 500 Indian retailer had acquired a Trincomalee storage facility, used by the British during World War II, when they started operation in February 2003. Over 200 people currently work in the tank farm.

Referring to two consecutive days of air strikes, sea and ground attacks in Trincomalee, Ramakrishnan said,"We are very cautious."

"(We are) fairly confident that our assets will be safe, they belong to the people of this country," he said.

LIOC said its plans to set up a $5 million lubricant blending plant with an annual production capacity of 18,000 metric tones at the Trincomalee site has not changed.

"Our plans have not changed. We are preparing the ground work, the drawings and so forth and hope to complete the plant by March next year," the official said.

First Published: Apr 27, 2006 17:51 IST