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Lanka project near Tamil Nadu; Chinese firm wins contract, India protests.

A CHINESE company has attained a deal to set up hybrid wind and solar energy projects on three Sri Lankan islands off the northern Jaffna peninsula 45 km from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.

Reports say the US $12 million project was granted to Sinosar-Etechwin, and will be executed as a joint venture with the state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board as part of the Sri Lankan government’s Supporting Electricity Supply Reliability Improvement Project.

Etechwin comes under the Chinese wind turbine manufacturer Goldwind. The report stated that India had lodged a strong protest with the Sri Lankan government on the contract to the Chinese company days before the Sri Lankan government canceled the contract for the Eastern Container Terminal. There was no immediate explanation from the Ministry of External Affairs. The contract had been given after calling international bids and the Indian bid was not competitive.

Asian Development Bank will finance the project, which will come up on Delft, Nainativu, and Analativu, three islands in the Palk Strait off the Jaffna peninsula. Delft, the biggest of the three islands, is the nearest to Rameswaram, which lies to the island’s southwest.

Connecting the two is Kachchativu, the small island that India ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974. The waters around these islands are an area of dispute and struggle between Tamil Nadu and Jaffna fishers. The matter has been on the bilateral agenda for decades. Etechwin makes solar-wind combined power generation systems.

The contract to Sinosar/Etechwin was approved by the Cabinet Standing Committee on Procurement on July 18, before Sri Lanka’s removal of the tripartite contract with India and Japan on the development and operation of the Eastern Container Terminal at Colombo Port.


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