Ceylon Petroleum : Energising the Future

Editorial Team
Editorial Team

The business of exploring, producing and refining petroleum has run through the veins of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation since it was set up as a state run enterprise in 1961, Sri Lanka.


With a continued vision of obtaining status as the premier customer driven and environmentally friendly enterprise in the petroleum industry and the region, the Company has also been able to retain a wider outlook to the success of the nation.

In 1962 the Corporation began going about its business in competition with the other oil companies operating in the country; spending its early stages evolving and developing its activities in the business of import, sales and distribution of petroleum products.

Prior to nationalisation the Company’s Kolonnawa oil installation, retail outlets and regional bulk depots all operated as three separate oil companies, as all three were subject to many transformations and overall improvements of their facilities which enabled them to perform as a singular entity.

Facilitating the three companies’ expansion was the call for new bulk depots and retail outlets which were constructed, therefore increasing both the storage capacity and regional depots at Kolonnawa. Alongside facilitation developments, departmental changes were also made to the Company, with the addition of a fire and safety division. The introduction of new fire hydrant systems combined with improvements to the internal road network facilitated the additional operational and maintenance activities.

In order to ensure the Company’s regular supplies and conserve foreign exchange, a refinery was built in 1968, and since commencing with production in the following year, the refining capacity increased from 38,000 BPD to 50,000 BPD in 10 years.


Since the Company’s inception, there has been a foundational commitment to achieving excellence in refining, sales and marketing of high quality products, combined with meeting the high standards set by the Company’s stakeholders. Retaining high standards is achieved through a team of dedicated professionals that utilise a loyal and efficient network which enables them to consistently meet customer needs.

“The driving force behind Ceylon’s success lies with total employee participation and innovation within the Company,” the Company states on its website. “We fully utilise a high technology base for growth and development in the sector; while maintaining high ethical standards in all of our activities with the highest concern for health, safety and the environment.

“Our current agrochemical product range for example consists of five weedicides, three fungicides and six insecticides. We provide those to the cultivator market and plantation sector,” the Company adds. “In addition to our distribution network of stockists and dealers, we promote our sales through Agrarian Service Centres across the island.”

Ceylon continues to make vast improvements to both its product offering and its operational facilities, after putting plans in place to commence the operation of a lubricant blending plant in which the Company can locally produce lubricant products which have previously been imported from Hyrax Malaysia in order to be sold in the local market.


An enormous investment of US$13 million on land in Murthurajawela has allowed the commencement of the ceremonial ‘laying down of the foundation stone’ for Ceylon Petroleum’s lubricant blending plant; the event which took place on Thursday 21 July, 2016 supported by the participation of Minister of Petroleum Resources Development and Attorney-at-law, Honourable Chandima Weerakkody.

“A point of pride for Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is our 11 percent share in the local market of lubricant supply which we have solidly built since we moved into the lubricant business in 2008,” continues the Company. “It is hoped that with the opening of the new plant, we will be able to increase market share up to 30 percent after only one year in operation.”

As well as producing lubricants of a high quality at a fair price which will in turn be supplied to local consumers, Ceylon is also working to meet the high standards set by the international market. Achieving success in both of its target markets has been made possible by the inception of the lubricant plant project, for which plans have been in the pipeline for many years.

Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is in the powerful position of being at the advantageous end of the special terms of its agreement with Hyrax Oil Malaysia; the latter is bound by the agreement that in 20 years time all of its property including the license certification and entirety of its stock production will be transferred to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Company name.

This brave step for the Company in rapidly increasing its productivity will almost certainly facilitate the good governance policy on opening up new avenues, which will in turn enable foreign investors to put their money into Sri Lanka. Subsequently this will reduce the cost of importation for Ceylon and strengthen the foreign exchange, not to mention the benefits to the economy of the country which will emerge through the new employment opportunities that are created.

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The Editorial team at APAC Outlook Magazine is a team of professional in-house editors led by Jack Salter, Head of Editorial at Outlook Publishing.