Business

Sri Lanka’s LVL Energy Fund to invest Rs 1.7 B more in Bangladesh

Sri Lanka’s LVL Energy Fund plans to invest US$ 10.8 million (Rs 1.7 billion) in a thermal power plant in Bangladesh, in addition to its Rs. 465 million investment in a hydro power plant in Nepal, with both projects progressing as planned.

“Feni Lanka Power Limited, a company incorporated in Bangladesh, will undertake the construction of the plant under a power purchase agreement signed in March 2018 with Bangladesh Power Development Board to supply electricity to the Bangladesh national grid for a period of 15 years. We propose to invest USD 10.8 million in the project for an equity stake of 40%,” LVL Energy Fund Chairman Lakshman Silva said in the company’s annual report.

LVL Energy Fund had earlier announced that one of its partners, Lakdhanavi Limited, was successful in winning the contract to construct the 114 MW thermal power plant in Feni, Bangladesh on Build Own and Operate (BOO) basis. The plant is expected to be completed by 2020.

He added that the syndicate loan agreement pertaining to the plant in Nepal was signed in April. Construction will begin before end December 2018, following the construction of the access road to the site, with project completion set for next year.

“Our investment of Rs. 465 million representing a 45% equity stake in this project is ready for disbursement depending on the funding requirements of the project. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the project is targeted to be completed in 2019 and will supply electricity to Nepal national grid under a 30-year power purchase agreement entered into with Nepal Electricity Authority,” he said in the company’s annual report.

Silva added that the company is awaiting CEB’s response to proposals submitted by it to add 6.0 MW solar power to the national grid, the tender for which closed in early April.

“The tender closed on 6th April 2018 and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is currently evaluating the proposals. If successful we will be in a position to add solar power projects of a total capacity of 6.0 MW to our portfolio of investments in financial year 2019/20.”

In January, the CEB issued a request for proposal (RfP) for 90 small-scale solar projects of 1MW capacity each in Sri Lanka under the second stage of the Suryabala Sangramaya Programme – Phase II, with plants to be developed on a BOO basis.

Silva added that its most recent hydro power plants in Campion and Bambarapana commenced commercial operation during the financial year ended 31st March 2018 and are operating satisfactorily.

He added that the company will look at exiting from some of the investments and using the proceeds to invest in new projects in order to “keep borrowings to the minimum and resort to fresh equity raising when necessary”.

LVL Energy Fund is a unit of Lanka Ventures PLC, which is controlled by Acuity Partners. It operates seven hydro power projects in Sri Lanka with a total capacity of 19.4 MW and two wind power projects with an installed capacity of 15.3 MW in Kalpitiya. (CC)