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Indians, Chinese competing for energy projects

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Indian business tycoon Gautham Adani and his team and officials from Sinopec were in town this week to discuss energy projects in Sri Lanka, top officials said.

During President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s visit to India recently, the Adani Group had given a commitment to complete work on the 500 MW Solar and Wind project in Mannar and Pooneryn by January 2025.

“India-SL grid connectivity, Green Hydrogen, Oil pipeline connectivity, and energy sector investments were discussed during the discussions held with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other officials. The Adani Group was in town to further discuss these investments. Their total investments will be around US$ 2.2 million,” an official said. He added that the Adani Group was very interested in green hydrogen.

Meanwhile, Finance Ministry officials said that the Adani Group was also interested in public transport sectors such as railways and buses. On Tuesday Minister Bandula Gunawardena, Minister of Transport and Highways, said that the Sri Lanka Railway Department is set to undergo a significant restructuring process. While the Sri Lanka Railways (SLR) will not be privatised, the Adani Group may be taken on to make the Railways more productive, a ministry official said.

In other developments, the Sinopec team was in town to discuss the oil refinery, which is around $2.2 million and is to be established in Hambantota, he said.

Sri Lanka and India have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on renewable energy, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said recently noting that, “MOUs on Renewable Energy Cooperation, Trincomalee Energy hub development was entered into during the visit (to India) and the energy permit for the Sampur Solar Park was issued for the joint venture between CEB and NTPC of India to commence work.”

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