07 May 2024, 14:51

Sri Lanka approves power deal with India's Adani Group

  COLOMBO, May 7, 2024 (BSS/AFP) - Sri Lanka announced Tuesday it was

entering into a 20-year agreement with Adani Group to buy electricity from a
$442-million wind power plant the Indian conglomerate is building in the
island nation.

The state-run energy utility will buy electricity at $0.0826 a kilowatt-hour,
about a third cheaper than the current average paid, energy minister Kanchana
Wijesekera told reporters.

An Adani Group official said the Adani plant is expected to be connected to
the national grid within two years.

The renewable energy project comes after Sri Lanka awarded Adani a $700-
million strategic port terminal project in Colombo in 2021.

Adani Group had been nominated as the contractor by the Indian government.

Its founder Gautam Adani is Asia's second-richest man and has longstanding
ties with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Adani Group last year denied accusations of "brazen" corporate fraud by a US
short-seller that sent the share price of its listed units into freefall,
though it has since reversed the decline.

The port project -- a 1.4-kilometre (0.9-mile), 20-metre (66-foot) deep jetty
right next to a Chinese-operated terminal in Colombo -- was widely seen as a
bid to address New Delhi's growing concern over Beijing's expanding influence
in the Indian Ocean.

China is Sri Lanka's largest bilateral lender, accounting for 10 percent of
the island nation's overall foreign debt.

Colombo is awaiting a debt restructuring agreement with Beijing and other
official and private creditors to continue with a $2.9 billion bailout from
the International Monetary Fund.


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