‘Danish’ wind power and ‘Chinese’ tires to revive the economy
Posted on December 9th, 2020

by Melani Manel Perera

Sri Lanka’s first state-owned wind farm is inaugurated. It is expected to generate 100 megawatts and save 20 billion litres of diesel in 20 years. A Chinese company will build a car tire factory near a port operated by a Chinese company. The country’s dependence on Beijing is growing.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday inaugurated Sri Lanka’s first wind power station.

The Thambapavani Power Plant in Mannar (Northwest Province) has a capacity of 100 megawatts with 30 turbines along a 12.5 km stretch of Sri Lanka’s coast.

Built by Denmark’s Vesta Asia Pacific, the wind farm costs US$ 200 million, partly financed with a loan from the Asian Development Bank.

According to the Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma, the electricity produced by this plant will save 20 billion litres of diesel in 20 years.

Yesterday the government also announced that a Chinese company will build a US$ 300-million tire factory, the first large-scale Chinese investment in the country, near the southern port of Hambantota, which China helped to build.

In order to pay off the port’s one-billion price tag, Sri Lanka agreed to lease it to a Chinese state company for 99 years.

Minister of Mass Media Minister Keheliya Rambukwella expects that 80 per cent of tire production will be exported, whilst the rest will be sold domestically.

Despite the debts accumulated over the years, Sri Lankan authorities continue to expand business cooperation with Chinese companies. Sri Lanka is a key part of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, meant to control world trade routes.

A few weeks ago, the prime minister release the government’s budget for next year. It relies on the investments flowing to Colombo’s new port, which was also financed with Chinese money.

During Mahinda Rajapaksa’s terms as president (2005-2015), Sri Lanka took on debts asking for capital from China to build large infrastructures, which in some cases have proved useless. For example, Colombo’s Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport, inaugurated in 2013, is considered “the emptiest” in the world.

4 Responses to “‘Danish’ wind power and ‘Chinese’ tires to revive the economy”

  1. Nimal Says:

    Hope Chinese will set the tyre company with the Arpico company.

  2. aloy Says:

    If what Nimal says is true, then Chinese are only the contractor as it is in their territory; perhaps another of the ‘Omani’ type that was promoted by yahapalanaya that did not take off.

  3. aloy Says:

    What is the actual cost of the wind farm. An earlier report gave the figure as US $ 144 million. And the project s not yet completed. So, did the cost go up after this energy minister took over with the help of Danish?. And a whopping $ 56 million at that.

  4. Nimal Says:

    Hope this not a scheme for someone to get a commission. I had a lot of problems, taking over a year to connect my solar panel generated power to the grid and once again the same problem in adding 10 panels I shipped, to the existing network of panels. It is impossible to do any new business in the island with so many obstacles especially created by the government departments.Politicans have no such problems.

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