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Sri Lanka CEB to get US$200mn loan from ADB for 100MW windfarm

ECONOMYNEXT – Manila-based Asian Development Bank will loan Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board 200 million US dollars under a sovereign guarantee to build a wind farm in the northern Mannar island.

"The new Wind Power Generation Project will not only provide access to a clean and reliable power supply in Sri Lanka, but also create an environment for further wind power development through future public-private partnerships," Mukhtor Khamudkhanov, an ADB Principal Energy Specialist said in a statement.

"Diversifying the country’s power generation through clean, renewable energy sources will improve the country’s energy security and environment."

Sri Lanka’s national electricity grid has a high share of renewable energy, mainly with large hydros which are cheap. But renewables are subject to variations in weather, which requires the utility to build thermal back-up.

In June 2016, CEB generated 38 percent of the total 1,176 GigaWatts of energy with its own large hydros and 172 MW with more expensive non-conventional renewable energy making a total share of 53 percent.

In June 2017, renewable energy generation fell to 32.7 percent amid a drought.

Opposition to coal plants has meant that higher cost liquid fuel plants are ultimately built pushing costs up, analysts have said.

ADB said in addition to the wind farm the project will build associated infrastructure, such as internal cabling and access roads, energy dispatch control center, and reactors to manage voltage levels.

The project will also establish the procedures to enable the Ceylon Electricity Board to act as a wind park developer that can attract the private sector in future wind power generation.

These include establishing cost benchmarks and conducting competitive bidding for future wind power projects, and managing the flow of intermittent wind energy through the power system. (Colombo/Oct30/2017)