19 May, 2024

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A Power Project In The Dark; RTI Voices Concern Regarding Transparency Around The Adani ‘Green Energy’ Project

While the Sri Lankan public is kept in the dark about the details of a proposed Wind Power plant/project of Adani Green Energy Limited in the Mannar District, Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment (BOI) has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) followed by preliminary approval of the project with the Adani Group in early 2023, the Colombo Telegraph learns.

These details emerged from an appeal hearing last week (4th January 2023) when the Right to Information Commission directed the BOI to clarify responses to an information request submitted by the Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL), one of the leading environmental rights groups in Sri Lanka.

The request for information included asking the BOI as to whether an MOU had been signed, if approval had been granted for the project to proceed and to specify the exact area where the project will be located due to environmental concerns.     

RTI Commissioners attorneys Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena and Jagath Liyana Arachchi directed lawyers of the BOI appearing before the Commission to clarify the status of all relevant approvals, informing that the BOI had failed to follow mandated steps under the RTI Act in refusing the information.

Earlier, the BOI had refused the information on the basis that the Adani Group and Ministries including the Ministry of Finance had declined to give their consent to release any information on the power project on the basis that this was ‘confidential’ documentation given by third parties under Section 29 of the RTI Act.

However, when the Commission examined the papers, it was discovered that this refusal was in relation to a separate request and that the BOI had not acted according to the procedures and timelines specified in Section 29, regarding the EFL request.     

In response to the Commission directive, the BOI clarified that an MOU had been signed with the Adani Group, a project proposal handed over and preliminary approval had already been given as well as clearances from the relevant Ministries and state entities including the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and PUCSL.

However, no agreement had been signed and land for the project had not been yet identified in Mannar and Pooneryn, the BOI told the Commission. As such, relevant environmental approvals for the project have yet not been obtained as this comes after identification of the specific land, it was said.

The BOI clarification that a project proposal from the Adani Group had been approved ‘in principle’ by the Sri Lankan Government is the first ‘light’ coming from a power project planned ‘in the dark,’ Mannar civil activists informed CT. ‘This shows that the project has gone a long way in its progress but we, the affected people still know nothing about this, they said.

In Jaffna last week, President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Northern based public servants and civil society that Sri Lanka will soon have ‘excess’ renewable energy as a result of new ‘green energy’ power projects and will export supply to India. However, activists in the Mannar District which will be directly affected from the proposed project, call for more transparency in the process.          

Previous posts;

‘Strictly Justify’ The Refusal To Give Info On Adani Power Project – RTI Commission Orders BOI

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Latest comments

  • 6
    0

    Good ol’ chest-thumping great Lankan Buddhist Ranil’s search for Buddha has ended in ……

    Not exactly Gautam Buddha …….. but Gautam Adani. ………. God bless Lanka!

    Ranil has no real friends ………. Ranil’s “friends” get crook-eder and crook-eder by each turn of the screw …….. one who makes the Rajapakses look like choirboys. ………… https://time.com/6250052/adani-hindenburg-fraud/

    • 2
      0

      nimal fernando

      “Good ol’ chest-thumping great Lankan Buddhist Ranil’s search for Buddha has ended in”

      Please forget Ranil for a second.
      Today Divaina reported poor man’s stimulant Jaffna Murunga is sold at Rs 3,000 per killo (යාපනේ මුරුංග කිලෝව රු 3000) while the country’s population is falling according to state figures.

      Do you think rise in Murunga price is also Ranil’s mistake?
      Has Wimal Weerawasa accused of joint US/India conspiracy to reduce Sinhala/Buddhist population?

      • 3
        0

        “Do you think rise in Murunga price is also Ranil’s mistake?”

        Oh boy, Native ……… is that the best you can come up with to defend your idol Ranil? :))))


        “Murunga is sold at Rs 3,000 per killo”

        What does it matter ……. does Ranil or any of his click of parasites ever pay for anything?

        For the average tax paying man it’s Rs 6,000 a kilo …….. because he has to buy for Ranil as well! :))))

      • 2
        1

        “Jaffna Murunga is sold at Rs 3,000 per killo”

        In Weligama Marriott …….. buffet – days recycled stale food – is Rs10,000 ….. à la carte hoppers – 4 hoppers and a curry – is Rs6,500. Even Ranil can’t afford with his own money unless the 18% vat buys for him and his girlie-boys!

        They ran out of curry in the chicken curry ……. so they just added water: Lankan style. That’ll do wonders to attract tourists. :))

        Someone paid over Rs100,000 for a dinner at a place called Monarch (Imperial?) in Kotte …. the food and the venue was excellent.

        Those are the prices poor have to pay with Ranil’s help ……. just to get by. :))

      • 1
        0

        Native,
        I believe the Divaina is up to its usual dirty tricks. Here is an online ad offering murunga at 800 per kg. Market prices may be half that.
        https://farmfresh.lk/products/murunga-drumsticks-moringa?variant=46449055826197

    • 2
      1

      I’m just amazed how all you esteemed highly learned ladies and gentlemen ……. go on a tangent talking about merits of various types of power generation!

      Has anyone stopped to think about intent/intension of …………. book-collected pristine Buddhist Ranil?

      Is it an open discussion with the public ……. an above board …….. open-tender process? Or Ranil’s usual underhand secret deals and tricks?

      If you think Ranil’s intentions are for the betterment of the nation …….. and not to hang on to power for a few more fleeting days by any crooked means possible ……… you are crazier than I am.

      You guys take the longest route possible to stupidity.

  • 3
    0

    The author states: “In Jaffna last week, President Ranil Wickremesinghe told Northern based public servants and civil society that Sri Lanka will soon have ‘excess’ renewable energy as a result of new ‘green energy’ power projects and will export supply to India.”
    .
    If so, can some better informed soul, educate, the ignorant us, why the idea of a nuclear plant is being floated from time to time since of late?
    .
    This has apparently been not in Sri Lanka’s energy plan previously at the time of COP27 summit in 2021 in Glasgow according to the following article that question the sutitability of nuclear power for Sri Lanka.
    .
    https://indepthnews.net/why-nuclear-power-plants-are-not-suitable-for-sri-lanka/.
    .
    It states: “With a well-planned strategy, renewables can be accelerated, and the fossil fuel can be gradually phased-out to solve the energy issue in the country as pledged by our leaders at Glasgow COP-27 Summit in 2021.”
    .
    What changed between COP27 and now for the government to change its stance?

    • 4
      0

      Ruchira,
      “Renewable” energy is as elusive as ever, except for countries like Iceland with unlimited geothermal energy or others (Ethiopia, Norway) with year-round hydro-electric power.
      Solar and wind are not stable enough for grid connection. It is well to remember that only a few tiny countries have managed even 50% solar or wind. Nuclear power is reliable, but suffers from bad publicity. There are Nuclear plants quite close o us in Tamilnadu. The problem is whether the CEB, which seems incapable of running a coal plant, can run a nuclear one.

      • 0
        1

        OC – Yes intermitancy and unreliability have been two factors brought against solar and wind. Case against nuclear is not mere bad publicity. I think there are real concerns when it comes to managing N-waste. In the propsed plant in SL, atleast the one propsed to be put up by Russia it is planned that we ship back the waste to Russia. I suppose that’s very convenient? TN may have them but should we have them just because TN does? More importantly why the sudden change of hearts? Seems like it wasn’t a consideration in the local energy mix as recent as a couple of years ago – as the author of the article linked to seems to be claiming.

        • 0
          1

          *proposed.

        • 1
          0

          Ruchira,
          “TN may have them but should we have them just because TN does? “
          We could always let them keep the risks and we could share the excess power by means of a cable.

          • 2
            0

            Ruchira,
            ““TN may have them but should we have them just because TN does? “
            Here’s a good argument why we should at least find out how they do it:
            https://www.tnebnet.org/awp/tariffMaster?execution=e1s2
            https://cebcare.ceb.lk/Incognito/BillCalculator

            120 domestic units cost 203 INR (around 800 LKR) in TN
            120 domestic units cost 6460 LKR in SL
            Of course, even TN loses about 50 billion INR on electricity supply.

            • 0
              0

              Hello OC – So are you saying that a nuclear plant would bring down the cost?

              • 0
                0

                Ruchira,
                If we are going to utilise a nuclear plant, I would prefer it to be in India, feeding us via a cable.
                “So are you saying that a nuclear plant would bring down the cost?”
                Well, something is keeping their costs down. If you read this document, you will see that there are subsidies (but not free power) for farmers, orphanages, etc, but not religious establishments.
                https://www.tangedco.org/static/tangedco/assets/files/tariff/2023/TO630062023.pdf
                There is about 14% wind power.
                Should we not investigate?

                • 0
                  0

                  OC – Investigate we must, however selling out is what is happening. Getting power from an already existing nuclear plant in India may be fine. But firstly that is not what’s being talked about. Talk is about building a new nuclear plant here on Sri Lankan shores. Secondly I thought we would have enough power between hydro and renewables and starting to talk about exporting to India. Why would one want to buy from India then? Because it’s cheaper? Yes, how they produce it cheap shouldn’t be rocket science. I am sure there are lessons to be learnt.

      • 2
        2

        oc
        “but suffers from bad publicity”
        A little more than that.
        There are serious dangers. Japan’s discharging of contaminated water into the sea is a real issue. Disposal of nuclear waste is not like that of any other.
        It took humanity a couple of centuries of burning unclean coal to realize the dangers. Even now the harm done by fossil fuel is not fully appreciated.
        Our understanding of nuclear emissions is much wanting and the public is ill educated.
        Forty years ago contaminated stainless-steel ware was sold in the streets of Bombay. How it got there is still a mystery.
        The only way out is to control wasteful consumption. we will get there when all other options fail to deliver.

      • 3
        2

        “CEB, which seems incapable of running a coal plant”

        Can you call a discarded rust bucket bought for high commissions a coal power plant? :)))

        Love to meet any engineer who can breathe life into an old rust bucket!

    • 4
      3

      ‘green energy’ or ‘dirty green energy’?
      R, you raise questions that put people in discomfort.
      The man is a known racketeer. He scratches Modi’s back ans Modi does the same to him.
      Adani must make the money for the wished for re-election of Modi.

      • 2
        1

        SJ – Adani’s rise to billionnairedom and his notorious connection to Modi is well known. It is Uncle Sam’s wish that we suck it upto Modi hence to Adani in our Uncle Ranil’s journey to prosperity by ’48 – a goal I believe set by Sam himself. But the nuclear plant is not done by Adani AFAIK he has no such capabilities.

        • 1
          0

          Adani’s fingers are in seriously green energy projects,
          I do not consider nuclear energy as green, as its waste is deadlier than fossil fuel waste.

          • 0
            0

            SJ – is your above comment directed to me? If you read my original comment you would see that I am questioning the rationale of building a nuclear plant in Sri Lanka?

          • 0
            0

            It is not directed at anyone.
            I have for long been anti-nuclear power, and its whitewashing as ‘Green Energy’.

            • 0
              0

              SJ – True. But I thought the nuclear plant is a proposal from Russia not from Adani. Does Adani has nuclear plants too?

    • 2
      0

      Do you know Ranil said anything different to JRJ said about Mahaweli project about exporting energy? He continued to keep Tamil politicians in his pocket but they also give some excuse to support UNP or SLFP. Both UNP,SLFP, and Tamil Muslim Politicians have a secret agreement between them to protect each other.

  • 3
    1

    I don’t think, Sri Lanka could afford a Nuclear Plant, they cost billions of dollars to build. Chinese would come and build it but you will end up don’t just giving the harbour but the whole country on lease for 100 years. Energy generation projects need lots of capital and who brings in the money go first in the queue. UK gets almost 50% of the energy from the renewables but expensive, it can afford to pay for it.

    • 0
      0

      The ones eyeing nuclear power here are closer by.

  • 4
    0

    Part I
    Export of excess electrical energy from Sri Lanka to India? My foot! The politicians of yester year, the then government in which Axcellency Ranil Sriyan Wickramasinghe too was part of it, told the same story of export of energy upon completion of the Mahaweli project. Isn’t history repeating? We were not born yesterday. He has forgotten the growing demand for electricity in the country and so did his superiors of yester year. Electricity is a devolved subject in India and negotiations for sale must be with the State of Tamil Nadu. The first thing is a suitable link between Mannar and Tamil Nadu. Just because Adani & Co are “influential” in the Union Government level (perhaps within Gujarat) how sure is Axcellency about the influence with the Government of Tamil Nadu? What about the price of electricity in Sri Lanka and the State of Tamil Nadu? One may try to be too smart to say what about another state. Then wouldn’t the cost of the link be so prohibitive so that the export may not be viable. One may daydream what about the state of Gujarat, the state of phony medicinal drugs for Sri Lanka and Cricket.

    • 1
      0

      Good sense,
      You are absolutely right.
      120 domestic units cost 203 INR (around 800 LKR) in TN
      120 domestic units cost 6460 LKR in SL

      • 0
        0

        oc
        I think that the best comparison is that of the ratio of the ratios of the prices per unit of electric energy and of heat energy from petroleum.
        That may tell us where the price gets inflated.

        • 0
          0

          “of the ratio of the ratios”
          Sorry it is “of the ratios”

  • 1
    0

    Part II
    Perhaps in good faith, Axcellency, as a matter of strategy, may have a pow-wow with business giants who finance or influence the elections of the home state or electorate of the parliamentary head of government of a country that helps or can help Sri Lanka. As far as India is concerned such businesses must not be “embarrassed” by local requirements such as the Right to Information or an expose by the Auditor General. Cabinet Ministers who do not know or disregard this must be sacked. The ISDB digital broadcast standards instead of DVB was an abracadabra by the then Rajapakse Jayasundara syndicate (again as an antidote for the Rambukwella trickery), was continued by the “Yahapalana” government because the manufacturer of ISDB was in Shinzo Abe’s (then PM of Japan) electorate. But now? Is all that now relevant and the damage done to Sri Lanka? Axcellency must examine the longevity of application of such strategy. The “executive” Presidency is a signal for other countries or donor agencies to think that decisions of independent organs of the state are minor scruples that an Axcellency must “look after” and not respect them.

  • 1
    0

    why not energy to be drawn directly from the sun overhead

    • 2
      0

      Text the boss, G Almighty to make arrangements if it is any form of it other than heat and light.

  • 14
    15

    The truth is the most unacceptable .

    Adani ,Ranil W, Mahinda,Gota, all are Indians fundamentally , men without any standards but pretending to be “gantalman”, wearing trousers, and talking high flown stuff.In fact all are crude crooks, the worse are bogus intellectual’s like Ranil.MR does not pretend, we all know how low he and his family are.

    Ask any Sri Lankan employee who he/she prefers to work for ,European company or Indian company ?

    Where would he like to migrate to India or Australia ?

    That is the truth.

    Another very important factor that has lowered Sri Lankan standards is that recent immigrants to the island from Indian sub-continent came to dominate our businesses, thus bring their crooked and exploitative ways to this country.

    Like frogs in a well Sri Lankans are so stupid they don’t know any other way.

    Since Indian business method is bribery and corruption our leaders like them.

    • 7
      10

      Deepthi silva,
      You say “Like frogs in a well Sri Lankans are so stupid they don’t know any other way.”
      I assume you include your parents in the assessment?

      • 10
        6

        noto Hypo, your comment is classy !

        What if they were not like frogs in a well ?

        Think about your parents–frogs ? Going by your lack of breeding I can assume

  • 0
    0

    Good Sense writes about Rabukwella trickery. Why is it so difficult to legally jail him. Guess it is the same as the Moulanas robberies of the national dollars and rupees.

  • 1
    0

    Quote “Multi-billionaire Gautam Adani on Wednesday announced an investment of over ₹2 lakh crore in Gujarat, largely in building a green energy park that would be visible even from space. Addressing the 10 edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar, the Adani Group head said the investment will create 1 lakh jobs.
    “Of the ₹55,000 crore committed at the last summit, Adani Group has already spent ₹50,000 crore,” Adani said.
    Adani said the apples-to-airport group is now building a green energy park in Kutch with a 30 gigawatt capacity spread over 25 square kilometres which would also be visible from space.
    “Since 2014, India has achieved a 185 per cent growth in GDP and 165 per cent growth in per capita income which is unparalleled given the geopolitical and pandemic-related challenges,” ” Unquote

  • 1
    0

    I dont think the CEB as it is can manage a pissparty . It is unfortunate that no one wants to buy it

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