Sri Lanka's Power and Energy Minister assured US, Worldbank support
[TamilNet, Monday, 16 August 2004, 13:54 GMT]
Minister of Power and Energy of Sri Lanka, Mr. Susil Premajayantha, concluded a one day visit to the US receiving a positive response from the US Trade and Development Agency and the World Bank for assistance in diversifying and upgrading the power and energy sector in Sri Lanka, a press release from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC said Sunday. The minister also met with Senior Executives of two major companies in the US Private Energy Sector and discussed investment opportunities in the energy sector in Sri Lanka, according to the press release.
"Minister Premajayantha’s discussions with the USTDA, the World Bank, USEA and the two major US players in the power and energy sector and, their positive response to Sri Lanka’s needs, seek to broaden and deepen the growing US-Sri Lanka partnership in the power and energy sector," noted the press release.
At a meeting with the Country Manager/Asia of the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA), the Minister reviewed USTDA technical assistance for consultancy services on the development of a 300 MW coal fired power plant within the agreement signed in July 2003 between the US and Sri Lanka for the award of US$560,000 in terms of technical assistance for the above project.
Minister Premajayantha met with World Bank's Vice President for South Asia Region, Mr. Praful Patel to discuss potential World Bank assistance for meeting these priorities.
In a Meeting with Senior Executives of Caterpillar Power Ventures Corporation, the Minister reviewed progress made on the company’s investment in a US$ 60 million joint venture power generation project in Sri Lanka with the Aitken Spence Company.
The construction of a 100 MW power plant at Embilipitiya by the Joint Venture Company ACE Power Embilipitiya Pvt. Ltd., which is already underway, will be commissioned in April 2005 and commercial operations are expected to commence in May 2005.
Minister Premajayantha also discussed investment opportunities in the alternative energy area and in coal and thermal power plants in Sri Lanka.
Caterpillar Power Ventures Corporation is a member of the Sri Lanka Working Group established at the United States Chamber of Commerce and extends valuable support to promoting Sri Lanka’s trade and investment agenda in the US. The Corporation also supported humanitarian de-mining activities in the North by sponsoring one of the specially trained de-mining dogs in the canine de-miming program recently launched in Sri Lanka.
Discussing the status of the Kelanitissa Pvt. Ltd. (AESK) owned by AES Corporation USA, the Minister discussed new opportunities emerging in the alternative and renewable energy sector in Sri Lanka.
Both, Caterpillar Power Ventures Corporation and AES Corporation USA informed Minister Premajayantha that they are fully satisfied with their investments in Sri Lanka and found the investment climate and the capacity of local banks and companies in Sri Lanka attractive to forge future business partnerships.
The Minister also discussed ways of establishing a partnership with the USEA. USEA, a member of the World Energy Council, is a non-profit association of over 165 public and private energy related organizations, corporations and government agencies and, is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).