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Government to buy the Shell Gas stake

Jun 17, 2010 10:57:25 AM - itnnews.lk

The Government wants to buy back the stake in the Shell Gas Unit in the island that had been sold to the multinational in a privatization exercise several years ago.

The Bank of Ceylon has been made an advisor to a Committee that will negotiate with the Shell Multinational. Minister Keheliya Rambukkwella told the weekly Cabinet news briefing that the administration of President Rajapaksa had promised to stop privatization of state entities He said the Government will use every opportunity to buy back assets that were sold.

Representatives from Ministries for Finance, Economic Development, Petroleum and Power and Energy are in the Committee. eRoyal Dutch Shell owns a 51 percent stake in Shell Gas Lanka, the dominant supplier of liquefied petroleum gas in the island, with the Government owning the rest.

Shell has said it is in talks with possible buyers after taking a decision to exit gas distribution in Asia. Shell bought the then government own Colombo Gas Company, which itself was a ‘nationalized’ private firm at a time when it there were chronic shortages of gas and new cylinders were not freely available and price high enough