ECONOMYNEXT – China’s Ambassador to Colombo has queried the suspension of renewable power projects in the islets of Sri Lanka by a Chinese company in an international tender saying the move sent wrong signals to investors.
The Asian Development Bank-funded renewable power projects were awarded to China’s Sinosar-Etechwin joint venture in January 2020 to be located Nainativu, Delft (Neduntheevu), and Analaitivu islet close to India.
Later Sri Lanka halted the project due to security concerns raised by India.
“I think Sri Lanka is now in a position that urgently needs foreign direct investments,” Qi Zhenhong, told a group of journalists late on Sunday.
“But if this project, under the ADB and following the international bid, was cancelled or postponed, I might ask a question to you: What is the signal this island sends to the international investors?”
The ambassador said China was a global leader in renewable energy and had the capacity and technology to implement the project.
“It is actually an ADB project and chosen through an international bid. And also given to a private company,” Ambassador Qi said.
“But I think if we abide by the spirit of the agreement, the conclusion is very clear.”
The islands are connected to Sri Lanka’s former war zone of Jaffna peninsula by a limited ferry service, managed mostly by the Sri Lankan Navy and located within a 50 km radius from the South Indian coast.
India has also offered a credit line for renewable energy and expressed interest in power projects in the North. (Colombo/Jan11/2021)