IFC supports renewable energy in Sri Lanka through wind-power projects

Friday, 10 June 2011 00:11 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $3.8 million in Sri Lanka’s SENOK Group to help the company diversify its portfolio to include wind-power projects that will boost the generation of renewable energy and increase the country’s power sources.

IFC’s investment will help develop SENOK’s capacity in renewable energy and support the company’s plans to adopt global environmental and social practices.  Under the project, SENOK will fast-track two new 10-megawatt wind plants in Sri Lanka’s Kalpitiya region though its two companies — SENOK Wind Energy (Pvt) Ltd and SENOK Wind Resource (Pvt) Ltd.  This project also will help establish a benchmark for similar renewable-energy projects in the future.

“We welcome IFC’s contribution and support of our plans to increase renewable-energy sources in Sri Lanka,” said Pancherine Dias, SENOK Group’s Director of Finance. “This partnership will pave the way for more investments and increased interest in the development of wind power in Sri Lanka.”

SENOK’s wind-power project fits into Sri Lanka’s National Energy Policies and Strategies to produce 10 percent of the country’s electricity requirements through nonconventional renewable-energy sources by 2015. The company will build the two wind-power plants in two phases, with the first phase expected to be completed in December 2011.  Both wind farms will supply energy to Sri Lanka’s national grid.

“The SENOK project is IFC’s first direct investment in wind power in Sri Lanka, and we are proud to support the country’s initiatives in the wind sector,” said Anita George, IFC Regional Industry Director - Asia, Infrastructure, and Natural Resources.  “Our support of renewable energy ties in with our larger mandate to help mitigate the risks of climate change and increase access to electricity for consumers and industries.”

SENOK pioneered wind power in Sri Lanka with the commissioning of the country’s first 10-megawatt wind-power project in 2010 through SENOK Wind Power (Pvt) Ltd.  The project is located in Kalpitiya, which has been identified by the Sri Lanka Sustainable Energy Authority as one of the three regions with excellent wind resources. Globally, IFC has committed more than $2.3 billion in renewable energy projects since 2005, and aims to triple its investments in renewable energy over the next three years.

More hydropower projects from Hydro Power Free Lanka

Two more hydro power projects now under construction by Hydro Power Free Lanka PLC (HPFL), a subsidiary of Free Lanka Capital Holdings, will supply around 2Mw to the national grid on completion. The two projects owned by the company are located at Thebuwana at Kuruwita and at Stellenberg at Gampola.

The company has obtained BOI and other relevant approvals for these projects which are scheduled to be completed by mid next year after which the power produced by them will be purchased by the Government. Construction work began in January this year.

A company spokesman said that the power purchase agreement has been signed with the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for a period of 20 years.  With the expansion of the hydro power projects HPFL has formed three subsidiary companies to manage and operate them. One of the subsidiaries, HPFL 2 owns the Thebuwana project and the Stellenberg project is owned by HPFL 3.

The third subsidiary,   Free Lanka Power 1 (Pvt) Ltd. owns two mini hydro power projects – Halgran Oya I & II. Hydro Power Free Lanka PLC is already supplying a total of 3.2 Mw to the national grid from its Sanquhar and Delta Plant.  These two have received the Certified Emission Reduction (CER) certification – commonly referred to as carbon credits – from the United Nations.

Explaining the company’s rationale in moving on to hydropower sector, the company spokesman said that they were guided by government policy of developing the hydropower generation potential of the country to its full potential as it is a major indigenous resource for power generation.