Siyambalanduwa sprouts SL’s first integrated renewable energy project

Wednesday, 23 August 2023 04:02 –      – {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

WindForce Managing Director Manjula Perera

Lakdhanavi Director, CEO M.J.M.N. Marikkar

Blue Circle CEO, Co-Founder Olivier Duguet 

  • Joint developers WindForce Plc, Lakdhanavi and Singapore’s The Blue Circle hail Govt. for swift finalisation of largest 100 MW private-sector renewable energy project with $ 152 m investment
  • SL marks milestone of first ever power venture to combine generation, storage, and transmission; slated for completion by 2025
  • Maiden initiative to be approved under Govt.’s 2023-26 and 2027-30 roadmaps towards 70% renewable energy share from 50% at present
  • Promoters say venture is benchmark for price setting for similar future projects

Siyambalanduwa in the impoverished Moneragala District of the Uva province will soon be the home for Sri Lanka’s first integrated renewable energy project by a private sector consortium heralding a new beginning in the country’s quest to reduce dependence on fossil fuel powered electricity. The milestone follows the Government last week granting the Letter of Award to a consortium led by WindForce Plc., Lakdhanavi and Singapore’s The Blue Circle to put up Sri Lanka’s largest 100 MW renewable energy project on a 200 hectare land block in Siyambalanduwa.

The consortium secured the contract following a competitive international tender floated in August last year.

The finalisation within eight months from the closure of bids in December last year, was hailed as commendable by the developers yesterday who added that it demonstrated the Government’s strong intent to boost renewable energy generation share to 70% by 2030 from 50% (35% large-scale hydro and 13% other renewable projects) at present.

It was also the first project to be approved under the first 2023-26 renewable energy plan of adding 2,500 MWs to be followed by another 3,000 MW under the second 2027-30 phase.

The award was for a 100MW Solar Power Plant, a cutting-edge 12MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS), a 2×63.5MVA, 132/33kV Grid Substation, and an extensive 27km, 132/33kV Transmission Line. This holistic approach seamlessly combines a renewable energy plant, storage system, grid substation, and transmission lines.

WindForce PLC is the largest renewable energy developer in Sri Lanka leader in renewable energy, and Lakdhanavi, a subsidiary of LTL Holdings Sri Lanka, is the first and largest Independent Power Producer (IPP) in Sri Lanka whilst The Blue Circle is an investment firm focused on renewable energy.

The consortium is slated to sign the 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) by end October followed by financial closure by end January 2024 with completion expected to take 24 months.

The project will use Approximately 200,000 Bifacial solar panels with single axis trackers. During the construction phase around 500 unskilled jobs will be generated and 50 post completion.

WindForce Plc Managing Director Manjula Perera said the project is unique due to its nature of being the first integrated renewable energy project. Lakdhanavi CEO and Director M.J.M.N. Marikkar said the venture is a milestone in terms of speed of finalisation considering the fact that it was the first large scale renewable energy venture open for competitive bidding. Both Perera and Marikkar commended the Government, the Ministry of Power and Energy and the CEB for their commitment to and support for the venture. Marikkar also said the venture is likely to set a benchmark for price setting in renewable energy.

The project cost of $ 152 million will be financed by $ 106.4 million via debt and $ 45.6 million by way of equity.  Singapore’s The Blue Circle will take up 70% of the equity component and the balance equally shared (30% each) by WindForce and Lakdhanvi.

Perera as well as Blue Circle CEO and Co-Founder Olivier Duguet said raising the required funding will be a challenge given Sri Lanka’s default rating but expressed confidence of timely financial closure.

Lakdhanavi has implemented over 1,500MW of Power Plants out of which 900MW’s is outside Sri Lanka, which includes Bangladesh, Male, Oman, Kenya, and Nepal. Presently it operates a 300 MW LNG Power Plant in Sri Lanka and three HFO Fired power plants with a total installed capacity of 218.4MW in Bangladesh. Another IPP based 350MW Combined Cycle LNG Power Plant in Sri Lanka is under construction.

WindForce has diversified into large-scale, ground and rooftop solar power plants and mini hydro plants in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Uganda and Ukraine. It currently owns and operates 30 RE power plants with a total installed capacity of 245.1MW.

Founded in 2013, The Blue Circle is a pure renewable Independent Power Producer based in Singapore, developing, financing, building and operating projects in the Asia Pacific region.

With offices in Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Philippines and strategic partnership with Acciona Energia from Spain.

It is operating 80MW of wind plants in South Vietnam and has in the pipeline 2,825 MW wind and solar projects under development. It has also won 30% of 2023 Thailand wind power tender with 420MW to build until 2030.

Pix by Lasantha Kumara



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