China to invest USD 800 million in renewable energy projects in Sri Lanka






Sri Lanka will mandate a 70 percent renewable energy share by 2030 forcing state-run Ceylon Electricity Board to prepare a long term generation plan to that effect with cabinet approval , renewable energy minister Duminda Dissanayake said.

Electricity in Sri Lanka is generated using three primary sources:  thermal power (which includes coal and fuel oil), hydropower, and other non-conventional renewable energy sources (solar power and wind power).

From 2018 – 2037, Sri Lanka plans to add 842 MW of major hydro, 215 MW of mini hydro, 1,389 MW of solar, 1,205 MW of wind, 85 MW of biomass, 425 MW of oil-based power, 1,500 MW of natural gas and 2,700 MW of coal power into the electricity generation system. 

The annual demand for electricity is expected to increase by 4.9 percent over the next 20 years, a number constrained by high prices.

In this set up, the China National Energy Engineering and Construction Company Limited (CNEE), a Chinese state-owned energy conglomerate, has offered to invest USD 800 million on 400 MW Renewable Energy Projects in Sri Lanka. 

The equipment and knowhow will be supplied by KE Electric, according to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will help the Commercial Bank of Ceylon evaluate and finance renewable energy projects in Sri Lanka in an initiative that promises to yield environmental and economic rewards.
IFC is extending a $15 million equivalent risk-sharing facility to Commercial Bank to support Sri Lanka’s power-generation capacity while addressing climate change.

Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Dr.Palitha Kohona had recently visited the massive KE Electric plant in Shijuazhuang producing a range of equipment for the generation and distribution of electricity. 

He was hosted by the Chairman of KE Electric, Chengsuo Zhang together with the Senior Management Team and was given a comprehensive tour of the establishment. Of particular interest was the equipment produced to generate and distribute electricity produced from solar, the statement said.

Dr. Kohona explained the Government policy to produce 70% of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. He also touched upon the locations being made available by the Government for the purpose. 

He emphasised that the Government was looking for investors and will not take loans to finance any projects.

The CINEE, which had already done some preliminary work on potential locations together with the KE Electric, was in the process of preparing its proposals.

Subsequently, the Sri Lankan team was taken on a tour of an impressive solar installation, Hongji PV Plant Project and Solar Demonstrative Project, in Beizhuang in Pingshan County of Shijiazhuang. Barren hillsides were covered with solar panels. 

KE produced control equipment, inverters, transmission lines, etc., were evident. Interestingly, 25% of the revenue generated from this project was directly allocated to village upliftment and poverty alleviation. 

A nearby village, which had witnessed devastation during the war against the Japanese, was now prospering from this novel source of income.

The proposed CNEE project is expected to be on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) or Build-Own-Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis, the embassy said.






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