Sri Lanka approves $442 million wind power project of Adani Group
Last year, a top Sri Lankan official had quit days after claiming that Modi had put pressure on Colombo to award a wind power project to the conglomerate.
Sri Lanka has approved two wind power projects valued at $442 million (over Rs 3,6000 crore) of the Gautam Adani-owned Adani Green Energy, The Hindu reported on Thursday.
The approval granted by Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment takes investments made by the conglomerate in the island nation over the $1 billion-mark, according to the newspaper. The wind power projects, to be set up in the cities of Mannar and Pooneryn, will generate about 350 megawatts of power and are likely to create 2,000 jobs, Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment said.
Notably, in June, a top Sri Lankan official had quit the country’s electricity board days after claiming that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had “pressured” the island nation’s President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to award a wind power project to the Adani Group.
MMC Ferdinando, who was the chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board, had told Sri Lanka’s Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises that erstwhile president of the country Gotabaya Rajapaksahad told him that Modi was insisting that a 500-megawatt wind power plant project be allotted to the Adani Group.
Later, Ferdinando had retracted his statement and resigned from his post after Rajapaksa issued a statement denying his claims.
On Thursday, the Adani Group received the letter of approval for the projects even as the conglomerate is steeped in a crisis triggered by a report released by United States-based firm Hindenburg Research on January 24, alleging that the group has amassed substantial debt by pledging overvalued shares.
Stocks of Adani Group companies have lost nearly $125 million (over Rs 10 lakh crore) in market capitalisation since the report, according to Reuters.
Share prices of Adani Green Energy, the company which bagged the Sri Lanka projects, have crashed more than 73% on the Bombay Stock Exchange, from Rs 1,913.55 on January 24 to Rs 512.35 when the markets closed on Thursday. In afternoon trade on Friday, the stock had sunk further to Rs 486.75.
For more than a year now, Sri Lanka has been dealing with rolling power cuts amid an economic crisis due to which the country has struggled to generate sufficient amounts of thermal power. The crisis has pushed the government towards encouraging renewable energy projects.
Last week, Sri Lanka increased power prices by 66% as part of its measures to seal a nearly $3 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund, Reuters reported.