By Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera
No final decision has been taken on the hybrid renewable energy project to be executed in the three islands off Jaffna, Power Minister Dullas Alahapperuma said yesterday. He told Parliament that the Cabinet was yet to approve this project and added the Treasury has vouched more details about the new technology to be used in the project.
Responding to a question raised by SJB MP Chaminda Wijesiri he said it was wrong to refer to this project as a leasing out of the three islands to a foreign country. “This is the first hybrid power plant in Sri Lanka, which is operated on wind and solar power,” he said. He said international competitive bids had been called for by the Asian Development Bank, which is funding the project for five years and pointed out that bids were called for the second time in July 2019, since the earlier bidders were unsuccessful. He said in the second tender, four companies had placed their bids including a Chinese company and an Indian company, and added that the Company that had placed the lowest offer of US$ 12 million has been chosen.
The Minister said there have been no irregularities in the tender procedure. Minister Alahapperuma said the Indian High Commission has said that India was ready to offer a grant to execute the project, if a technical report has been submitted to them. “The tender has not been awarded to any Companies at present,” he said.