Sri Lanka’s DFCC Bank celebrates 25 years of pioneering renewables in the country
Daily FT: DFCC Bank, one of Sri Lanka’s leading banks, celebrates 25 years of pioneering renewable energy in Sri Lanka.
Having the vision and understanding the emerging needs of the nation whilst also being cognisant of the shifts in the global energy sector, the Bank has been promoting renewable energy in Sri Lanka for the past 25 years.
DFCC Bank is the pioneering bank in Sri Lanka for renewables, having financed the country’s first ever private sector wind, solar and waste to energy development projects, commencing in 1996.
The Bank is also the pioneer in the introduction of Standardised Power Purchasing Agreements in Sri Lanka in 1997, the cornerstone of facilitating private investment in the renewable energy sector.
Discussing the achievements of DFCC Bank in the renewable energy sector, Senior Vice President and Corporate Banking Head Sohantha Wijesingha said: “While we count our involvement in the sector as beginning in 1996 when we backed the Hydro-tech Lanka Dick Oya project, our first involvement with the renewable energy sector goes way back to 1988, when we funded a solar PV module assembly plant.
Driven by our sustainability strategy, which positions us as the ‘bank for green finance’, we have taken it upon ourselves to do our part to protect the planet and its people. We do this by backing the renewable energy sector, relying on the synergies we have created through our relationships with global financiers such as the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the European Investment Bank, the Asian Development Bank and others. Thus, our journey has been incredible and we are excited about working together with all stakeholders to create a greener, brighter and energy independent Sri Lanka.”
DFCC Bank’s other notable achievements in the renewable energy sector over the past 25 years include the financing of the Senok Wind Power Project (2010), the Saga Solar Project (2017), the Western Power Company’s municipal waste to energy project (2021), Suryadhanavi Ltd. –the first distributed grid-connected solar power project (2017), and Sri Lanka’s first ever biomass-based Combined Heat and Power project (2017).
Always looking to support Sri Lanka’s economy and create new economic opportunities, DFCC Bank has also backed the strengthening of Sri Lanka’s renewable energy value chain, by financing the successful Sri Lankan-German collaboration, VS Turbo Ltd. – Sri Lanka’s first hydropower turbine manufacturing plant (2007); a company that has not only manufactured electromechanical equipment for hydropower projects in Sri Lanka, but which has also exported such equipment to other international markets in Africa.
DFCC Bank also co-managed the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Valibel Power Erathna PLC, the first IPO and listing of a renewable energy producer in Sri Lanka (2006). The Bank has also been involved with numerous smaller renewable energy projects including microfinance for home solar power systems over the past 25 years.
Looking to the future, DFCC Bank has identified renewable energy as a key sector for Sri Lanka. To further the industry, the Bank has played host to several research and study teams from various countries including Cambodia, Ghana, India, Mozambique, Nepal, the Philippines and Uganda for knowledge and experience sharing.
Sri Lanka’s renewable energy generation sector is fast becoming a hotspot for business/investment opportunities in the country. With the country facing a power crisis due to the continuously increasing demand and the government adopting a policy of increasing renewable energy generation to 70% by 2030 have all given a boost to Sri Lanka’s power industry, especially the renewable energy sector. The increasing demand for renewable energy generation has also increased opportunities in acquiring equipment and material required for renewable energy generation projects as well as technical expertise. Given that Sri Lanka is on a development path while also trying to position the country as a growing business destination in the South Asian region, the business potential in the country’s renewable energy generation sector continues to increase providing a lucrative business/investment opportunity for foreign businesses/investors.
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