The Minister has explained that setting up a new oil refinery in the country would help save monies spent on importing refined fuel to the country.
He said the only refinery at Sapugaskanda is unable to refine some varieties of crude oil, and with the sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States trimming imports of Iranian crude, Sri Lanka has to import large quantities of refined fuel at a higher cost.
The decline in purchasing crude oil from Iran has a direct impact on the refining process at the Sapugaskanda refinery, the Minister said.
Yapa has said the government is now exploring the possibility of setting up a refinery with international companies in China, South Korea, Italy, Turkey and United States.
According to the Minister, Cabinet approval will be sought for the project expected to be completed in about one and half years after the discussions are concluded.
"We are looking at a facility where we could refine about 100,00 barrels per day and it should have the facility to refine oil products from over 20 countries," he told Sunday Times.