ECONOMYNEXT- A controversy has erupted over a planned 500 Mega Watt unsolicited wind power plant in Sri Lanka by India’s Adani group, while attempts are also being made to change the electricity law to buy private plants without competitive tendering, engineers at the utility have charged.
“The Adani group at first proposed to sell power to the CEB at 6.50 US cents,” Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union President Anil Ranjith told reporters on June 06.
“Now attempts are being made to give the project for 7.55 cents a unit.”
At current exchange rates, the tariff is 27 rupees a unit.
Former CEBEU President Saumya Kumarawadu said under competitive tendering a wind plant could be built to sell power at 4 cents a unit or below.
“7.55 cents is about twice the price,” he said. “Over 25 years, that is about 4 billion US dollars.”
Foreign direct investments coming into renewable energy are called ‘market seeking’ investments rather than export-oriented industries and services which are called efficiency-seeking investments.
Chairman of state-run Ceylon Electricity Board, M M C Ferdinando defended the move saying the Adani deal came through the government and a memorandum of agreement was signed with the Finance Ministry, the Board of Investment, the CEB and the Adani group.
The prices could still be negotiated after a feasibility study, he said.
Under Sri Lanka’s current electricity law, private plants have to be acquired under competitive bidding.
However attempts are made to change the law to abandon competitive bidding, the CEBEU said, which will lead to discretion, corruption and high feed-in tariffs and it is a foreign firm’s large outflows of foreign exchange over the term of the power purchase agreement. (Colombo/June07/2022)