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Sunday May 19th, 2024

Ceylon Energy: A Vision to Illuminate Lives

Madushanka Fernando – Founder and Chairman of Ceylon Energy

Established in 2019, Ceylon Energy stands at the forefront of revolutionizing the energy sector with its commitment to “Lighting People’s Lives” and innovative technological solutions. Their introduction of ACCC (Aluminium Conductor Composite Core) technology spearheads this transformation in collaboration with global partner CTC Global, a leading US corporation. Ceylon Energy also pioneers environmentally friendly and sustainable foundation solutions through its Helical Anchor Technology. As the exclusive marketer of Helical Anchor Solutions in South Asia, New Zealand, and Australia, the company is making significant strides towards environmental stewardship.

In this interview with Madushanka Fernando, Founder and Chairman of Ceylon Energy, we delve into the drive behind the organization’s commitment to shaping a sustainable future.

“Ceylon Energy has showcased resilience in the face of adversity, weathering the challenges brought on by the pandemic. Based in Singapore, we are actively involved in power transmission, generation, and various aspects of energy distribution internationally. With approximately 450 direct employees and an additional 2,000 indirect staff members, we are committed to our core mission of illuminating lives through innovative energy solutions,” Fernando says.

Ceylon Energy (CE) has a strong foothold in Sri Lanka and is extending its services to global markets across Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa. Renowned for its excellence, CE operates across multiple industries, including technology, construction, and sustainable energy initiatives, driven by a vision to improve humanity through innovation.

“Aligned with our shared commitment to addressing the global energy crisis, we have forged partnerships with global conglomerates to bring forward groundbreaking solutions,” Fernando explains. “Leveraging cutting-edge technologies and international expertise, we aim to challenge conventional energy paradigms and pave the way for a sustainable future”. Excerpts of the interview are as follows:

How is your company contributing to sustainability globally?

Together with our global partner CTC Global, a leading US corporation, we have spearheaded the adoption of ACCC (Aluminium Conductor Composite Core) technology, a breakthrough innovation reshaping the power transmission and distribution landscape globally.

With the ACCC conductor’s remarkable strength-to-weight ratio, surpassing even that of steel while being 30% lighter, it has significantly enhanced power transfer capacities.

This advanced conductor, born from a fusion of aerospace technology and materials science, accommodates approximately 25% more conductive aluminium without increasing its weight or diameter. As a result, deploying ACCC conductors has led to substantial efficiency gains, slashing line losses by up to 40% and doubling capacity compared to traditional conductors.

Through strategic partnerships with entities like the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), we spearhead reconductoring projects to enhance existing transmission lines. By leveraging the existing infrastructure and implementing ACCC technology, we circumvent the need for new land acquisition and minimize environmental disruption.

Moreover, ACCC conductor’s superior heat dissipation properties ensure cooler and more efficient operation, reducing the need for excess energy and thus mitigating carbon emissions. The deployment of ACCC conductor has resulted in significant annual energy savings, totalling approximately 10,400,577 megawatt-hours (MWh), translating to an impressive reduction of 4,365,033 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually.

This reduction in carbon emissions reflects a tangible step towards environmental sustainability. By supporting the adoption of ACCC technology in organizations, our company plays a pivotal role in reducing the global carbon footprint while meeting escalating energy demands.

What are the initiatives implemented in keeping with your vision towards environmental stewardship?

In project construction for power generation, we focus on optimizing efficiency while minimizing costs and environmental impact. We are committed to sustainability, and as part of our vision towards environmental stewardship, we have introduced the CHANCE Helical Anchor Foundation solution. This innovative solution offers significant advantages over traditional concrete foundations.

Ceylon Energy is a manufacturer of Helical Anchor solutions, which is an environmentally friendly, sustainable foundation solution. This is a patented product of Hubbell Power Systems.

To produce this technology, CE has set up a state-of-the-art production facility. CE is also the exclusive marketer of this product in South Asia, New Zealand and Australia. We have already initiated in Kenya and East Africa by CE.

Concrete foundations typically require specialized machinery and a large workforce for processing, transportation, pouring, levelling, and installation. In contrast, helical piles offer a more sustainable alternative. They can be installed using simple machinery and carried out by a small crew, eliminating the need for heavy equipment and reducing energy consumption during installation.

Helical piles are easily manufactured and arrive at the site ready to be installed. Their compact size makes transportation efficient and reduces carbon emissions associated with logistical operations. In contrast, producing concrete foundations generates significant greenhouse gas emissions, making it one of the leading contributors to carbon emissions in the construction industry.

The Helical Anchor technology is a concept we’ve been discussing since 2016 with the Ceylon Electricity Board. Initially, there was resistance to change, as this technology was unprecedented in Asia. However, by 2018, we completed our first project, proving the system’s efficacy. Subsequently, we secured a large project, currently underway, involving 450 tower footings.

 Facing import restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we negotiated with our US partner, Hubbell Power Systems, to obtain a licence to manufacture the items in Sri Lanka, which allows us to export to four other countries: Kenya, India, Australia, and New Zealand.

We’ve set up a manufacturing facility in Sapugaskanda, and the project marks a significant milestone in Sri Lanka’s history, as it’s the first time engineering products manufactured under a US licence will be exported to other countries.

Can you tell us how CE is helping to advance Sri Lanka’s renewable energy goals?

In the context of Sri Lanka, our vision is to achieve 70% renewable energy by 2030. This goal aligns with global trends, as countries worldwide, including those in East Africa, India, and other parts of Asia, are also setting renewable energy targets. The shift towards renewable energy is driven by the limited availability of petroleum and fossil fuels and their detrimental environmental impact.

We’ve introduced innovative technologies in Sri Lanka to support our renewable energy goals. One such technology is helical anchors, which streamlines the installation process for energy infrastructure. Unlike conventional methods that require extensive ground excavation and disruption, helical anchors can be installed swiftly, reducing construction time and environmental impact. Additionally, the versatility of this solution allows for easy removal if needed, leaving the ground intact for future use.

 We have completed three 1-megawatt projects, spanning approximately five acres each, within Sri Lanka. Recently, we inked a deal for a 10-megawatt solar power plant in Hambantota, slated for completion within two years, reinforcing our commitment to bolstering the national grid.

Moreover, we are actively exploring innovative ventures, particularly in the African region, where we have a presence in Kenya. Collaborating with local utility companies and policymakers, we aim to spearhead additional renewable energy initiatives in these countries.

We aim to build upon our existing projects and establish a foothold in markets like China. Through our endeavours in the energy sector, we strive to bring tangible benefits to nations and the individuals we serve, embodying our ethos of ‘lighting people’s lives’ globally.