The approvals are for two wind projects in Mannar, Pooneryn
Sri Lanka has granted provisional approval to Adani Green Energy for an investment of over $500 million in two wind projects in Sri Lanka’s northern province. The two projects will come up in Mannar and Pooneryn, said Sri Lanka’s power and energy minister Kanchana Wijesekera on Tuesday.
“Met officials of CEB & Sustainable Development Authority today to discuss the progress of renewable energy projects. Adani Green Energy was issued provisional approvals for two wind projects of 286MW in Mannar, and 234MW in Pooneryn, for an investment of over $500 million.”
The minister also added that 21 of 46 projects that was delayed due to Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Act amendments will enter into PP agreements next week.
It may be recalled that the Adani projects in Sri Lanka ran into controversy after Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando told a parliamentary panel that a renewable energy project in the Mannar was given to the Adani Group after Prime Minister Narendra Modi allegedly “pressured” the then president Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
However, Rajapaksa’s office then immediately rushed out with a statement denying the CEB’s officer’s remarks.
Incidentally, Sri Lanka had recently amended its electricity law by doing away with the competetive bidding. The law was vigourously criticised by the opposition then, saying it was amended only to enable big ticket entries like Adani to set up projects.
Apparently, the energy project is the second big deal for the Adani group in Sri Lanka, after it bagged the bid for a strategic port terminal in Colombo. The Adani group got into to develop the West container terminal in Colombo port after the trilateral agreement to develop the East container terminal at the same Colombo port was unilaterally cancelled by the Sri Lankan government.
Sri Lanka’s primary opposition partry Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB), led by Sajith Premadasa, then, criticised the Sri Lankan government and said that the Adanis were making a “backdoor entry” into the Island nation.
Apart from all this controversy, India has signed agreements for executing hybrid energy projects in three islands off Jaffna Peninsula. These agreements were signed after Sri Lanka cancelled its agreements with China. India’s National Thermal Power Corporation has also signed an agreement with the CEB in March, to jointly set up a solar power plant in Sampur, in Sri Lanka’s eastern Trincomalee district.