Tuesday, 22 July 2003  
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aggreko invests $ 50 m on Jaffna power plant

By Shirajiv Sirimane

aggreko International, Sri Lanka's largest thermal power generating company has invested US$ 50 million on a 20 megawatt power generation plant in Jaffna. According to Marketing Manager aggreko International Julian Ford who was in Sri Lanka yesterday the faith they had in the peace process prompted them to tender for this project. "The plant will be operational from October 1," he said. He said that this would also be a physiological boost for the peace process and people who were without power would no longer have to be in darkness.

He said that they first came to the country at a time when there was a major power crisis.

"We had estimated that if the country was without power for one day it would lose Rs. 50 million a day."

He said that their main advantage is their speedy service as when Sri Lanka wanted quick power generation they charted special transport planes to bring down their equipment to Sri Lanka.

Ford, based in Dubai said that aggreko won an open contract for the Jaffna project and the contract period is for one year.

He said that they are the largest private power generating company in Sri Lanka and they produce around 200 megawatts of power to the nation. "This is around 15% of the country's total power generation."

He said this would be the company's ninth location in Sri Lanka and they are ready to make even bigger investments as and when required. He also said that aggreko is based in over 40 countries and Sri Lanka's investment is one of their major operations.

Ford said that this is the third time they have been contracted and this year they have to buy their own fuel from the Petroleum Corporation. "Over the past eight years we have trained many Sri Lankans and the company can now operate with only three expatriates. A few years ago we had over 40 expatriates," he said.

He said that the cost they save on the expatriates was given back to the country as they have signed to supply power to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for a lower price this year.

aggreko is the world leader in providing cost effective temporary power and temperature controlling systems and they are based in over 140 locations. Their service includes supplying power to the peace keeping forces in the Gulf, Kossovo, Afghanistan and even for the broadcasting industry involved in the last Football World Cup in Japan.

"We were the number one supplier to the World Cup while the national grid was on stand by."

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