Sri Lankan - German Energy Cooperation: A Model to Follow
Enlarge image COLOMBO, November 28 – German Ambassador Jens Plötner recently visited the Aitken Spence power plant in Embilitiya together with Mrs Maria Spoelgen, Vice President of the German Investment and Development Organisation DEG.
The 100MW Embilitiya plant is the largest power generating unit operated by Aitken Spence Power, a subsidiary of the diversified bluechip Aitken Spence PLC.
“Having affordable and clean sources of energy is very important to power Sri Lanka’s ambitious post-war development plans,” Ambassador Plötner said. “Germanyhas supported a number of successful joint-ventures and public-private partnership initiatives during its more than half a century of economic co-operation with this country. The partnership between DEG and Aitken Spence has been one of the most fruitful ones among them.” Enlarge image The power plant is surrounded by a green buffer zone extending over an area of 33 acres, which has been converted into a herbal, fruit and vegetable model-farm. The company also provides agricultural education services to the local community, whose main source of income is agriculture.
The company also conducts youth empowerment programs such as the training of young people in bee keeping and sustainable agricultural practices. The plant’s community outreach efforts include the provision of safe drinking water to over 4000 families in the surrounding villages and the realisation of health camps.
DEG holds a 26 % stake in Ace Power Embilipitiya (Pvt) Ltd., the plant’s owning company, since 2005. A member of the KfW Bank Group, DEG is one of the largest European development finance institutions with a special focus on co-financing of industrial entities and finance institutes as well as economic cooperation in developing economies and countries in transition. It has had a presence in Sri Lanka since the late 70’s and has successfully provided finance to public-private partnership projects.
Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange since 1983, Aitken Spence is among Sri Lanka’s leading corporate entities with operations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The Group’s energy sector contributes close to ten per cent of the national grid, with a growing portfolio of thermal, hydro, wind and waste-to-energy plants either at operational or development stage.