Sri Lanka approves Adani firm’s $442-mn wind power plants

Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment on Wednesday approved two wind power plants by Adani Green Energy Ltd with a total investment of $442 million, a statement issued by the board said.

“The two wind power plants of 350 MW are scheduled to be commissioned in two years and accordingly, they will be added to the national grid by 2025,” the statement added.

Sri Lankan Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said on Wednesday that the progress on the renewable energy project to generate 500 MW was discussed with the Adani Green Energy officials. In August last, the Adani Group was issued approval to start wind power projects in Pooneryn, in the country’s northeast.

Adani Green Energy was issued provisional approval for two wind projects of 286 MW in Mannar and 234 MW in Pooneryn for an investment of over $500 million.

Shares of Adani Green Energy have plunged 72 per cent since January 24 this year when Hindenburg Research made allegations against the Adani Group.

Commenting on the progress, Wijesekara said provisional approval from the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority was issued two weeks ago. The necessary land acquisition is in progress.

Sri Lankans have been struggling with rolling powers cuts for over a year as the country struggled to generate sufficient amounts of thermal and coal power, which has pushed the government to fast track renewable energy projects.

The island nation hiked power prices by a hefty 66% last week, part of efforts to nail down a $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as it struggles to find a way out of its worst financial crisis in more than seven decades.

A group of Adani officials are in Colombo to evaluate multiple projects with Sri Lanka. The conglomerate is also involved in building a $700 million terminal project at Sri Lanka’s largest port.

The Sri Lankan Board of Investment statement said the Adani wind power project will generate 1,500 to 2,000 new job opportunities.

Sri Lanka also aims to export renewable energy from its northern areas to southern India.

The Adani investments in Lanka’s energy sector are in addition to their investment in the port of Colombo’s Western container terminal.

Gautam Adani, the group’s chief, had met the then president Gotabaya Rajapaksa in October 2021 to push ahead with the group’s investments in the country after they annexed the deal to develop the Colombo port’s western container terminal under the Rajapaksa presidency.

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