Renewable energy project in Jaffna islands: Govt. awaits technical observations
Indian grant on the table
The Cabinet of Ministers is awaiting technical observations from the Treasury to give the green light to the proposed hybrid renewable energy systems project on three islands off the coast of the Jaffna peninsula, The Sunday Morning learnt.
The proposal with the decision to award the $ 12 million project to the MS/Sinosar-Etechwin Joint Venture in China was submitted to the Cabinet by Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma a few weeks ago.
In the meantime, the Government of India has also expressed their willingness to invest in the same project by awarding a grant and it is learnt that the Indian proposal has not been rejected by the Government, considering the financial advantages of receiving a grant instead of a loan.
The energy deal won by the Chinese company involves setting up three hybrid renewable energy systems mixed with solar, wind, and other renewables on the three islands.
Under the project, international competitive bids were called to install hybrid renewable energy systems, utilising the accessible energy resources to improve the efficiency of the prevailing energy network.
The project is to be funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), it is learnt.
When contacted by The Sunday Morning, Power Minister Alahapperuma said that when such a cabinet proposal is submitted, the requirement of providing technical observations by the Treasury is a norm and that the project is currently at that stage.
He said that since the hybrid renewable energy systems mixed with solar, wind, and other renewables is a new concept to Sri Lanka, a technical evaluation is a must.
When queried about the delay, the Minister accepted that there was a slight delay from the side of his Ministry to provide the relevant technical details as well as from the Treasury to provide the observations. He, however, noted that the proposal which was received from India has also not been rejected by the Government. Nevertheless, the Minister noted that no final decision has been taken as yet by the Government on the proposed project.