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Hambantota oil refinery project

Topics Covered:

  1. India and its neighbourhood- relations.


Hambantota oil refinery project


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Key features of the project and the location of Hambantota.
  • For Mains: Significance of the project for India and why is India worried about Chinese presence there?


Context: India’s Accord Group and Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas has begun construction of an oil refinery in Sri Lanka’.


Significance of Hambantota:

  • Hambantota is right in the middle of vital energy supply lines in the Indian Ocean, connecting the Middle East and East Asia
  • Hambantota is the main town in Hambantota District, Southern Province, Sri Lanka. This underdeveloped area was hit hard by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and is underwent a number of major development projects including the construction of a new sea port and international airport.


Why is India worried?

  • India’s apprehensions about the apparently growing Chinese presence in the island are well known, given the two countries’ competing strategic interests in the island. The Hambantota port is part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Chinese control of Hambantota, which is part of its modern-day “Silk Route” across Asia and beyond, as well as a plan to acquire 15,000 acres (23 sq miles) to develop an industrial zone next door, had raised fears that it could also be used for Chinese naval vessels.


Source: the hindu.