China offers to invest $ 800 m in SL renewable energy

  • Equipment to be supplied by KE Electric

China National Energy Engineering and Construction Company Ltd. (CNEE), a Chinese state-owned energy conglomerate, has offered to invest $ 800 million on 400 MW renewable energy projects in Sri Lanka.

The equipment and know-how will be supplied by KE Electric, according to the Sri Lankan Embassy in Beijing.

Ambassador of Sri Lanka to China Dr. Palitha Kohona had recently visited the KE Electric plant in Shijiazhuang, which produces a range of equipment for the generation and distribution of electricity.

He was hosted by the KE Electric Chairman Chengsuo Zhang together with the senior management team and was given a comprehensive tour of the establishment. Of particular interest was the equipment produced to generate and distribute electricity produced from solar, the statement said.

Dr. Kohona explained the government policy to produce 70% of Sri Lanka’s electricity needs from renewable sources by 2030. He also touched upon the locations being made available by the Government for the purpose.

He emphasised that the Government was looking for investors and will not take loans to finance any projects. The CNEE, which had already done some preliminary work on potential locations together with the KE Electric, was in the process of preparing its proposals.

Subsequently, the Sri Lankan team was taken on a tour to view the solar installations at Hongji PV Plant Project and Solar Demonstrative Project in Beizhuang, in Pingshan County of Shijiazhuang where barren hillsides were covered with solar panels.

KE Electric produced control equipment, inverters, transmission lines, etc., were evident during the tour and interestingly, 25% of the revenue generated from this project was directly allocated to village upliftment and poverty alleviation.

A nearby village, which had witnessed devastation during the war against the Japanese, was now prospering from this novel source of income.

The proposed CNEE project is expected to be on a Build-Own-Operate (BOO) or Build-Own-Operate and Transfer (BOOT) basis, the Embassy said.