Indian Adani group to invest in SL green hydrogen and solar power plants
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Indian Billionaire Gautam Adani’s conglomerate is set to invest heavily in renewable energy and port development projects in the island pledging to set up a green hydrogen plant in Sri Lanka, where his conglomerate is already developing a container terminal and a 500 MW wind project.
Adani met visiting Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe to discuss ongoing projects and the new venture.
The Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) is developing a US$ 700 million container terminal at Colombo Port, which is a major transshipment hub in South Asia.
The Adani group is also developing the Vizhinjam seaport project in Kerala, just 176 nautical miles from the Colombo port.
The conglomerate’s renewable energy firm, Adani Green Energy, is setting up two wind projects of 286 MW in Mannar and 234 MW in Pooneryn at an investment of $500 million. The projects are to be completed by December 2024.
The Adani Group’s recent meeting with the Minister of Energy marks the first formal dialogue since US-based Hindenburg Research made allegations against the Indian conglomerate, which it has categorically denied. T
he Adani Group’s venture into the country’s energy sector complements its previous investments in the port of Colombo’s Western container terminal. Gautam Adani, the group’s chief, met with former Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa in October 2021 to discuss the company’s investment plans in the country following the Colombo port deal.
This deal represents Sri Lanka’s first major foreign investment since it declared bankruptcy following an economic crisis last year. According to a statement from the Sri Lankan Board of Investment, the project will create between 1,500 and 2,000 new jobs.
The announcement comes as Sri Lanka is grappling with rolling power outages, resulting from the country’s struggle to generate adequate amounts of thermal and coal power.
This has spurred the government to expedite the development of renewable energy projects. In an effort to secure a $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as it struggles to navigate its worst financial crisis in over seven decades, the island nation has increased power prices by a significant 66%recently.
At Colombo Harbour, the only deep-sea container port between Dubai and Singapore, the company is constructing a 1.4-kilometre, 20-meter-deep jetty immediately adjacent to a Chinese-operated terminal.
The development follows a stock crash in which Adani Group lost $120 billion in market capitalisation after the US-based investment research firm Hindenburg accused the company’s subsidiaries of accounting fraud and price manipulation in January 2023.
In 2019, a Chinese company was given a USD 12 million contract from the Asian Development Bank to construct three wind farms on islands in the Palk Strait, which separates India and Sri Lanka. However, New Delhi objected to the proposal, and it was cancelled.