Lakdhanavi, a Colombo-based company investing in power infrastructure, had another success story when it commissioned its third 150 megawatt power plant in Bangladesh.
Lakdhanavi made its foray into Bangladesh in 2010 looking for investment opportunities. Now, the company has commissioned three power plants built with its own engineering. The latest one was completed in the area called Feni in the south of Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.
The plant is now operated by Feni Lanka, a subsidiary of Lakdhanavi LTD. Earlier, the company built two power projects with 52 megawatts each.
According to the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at LTL Holdings (pvt) Limited Dammika Nanayakkara, it was a US $ 100 million investment by the company in Bangladesh. He said the company handled the entire engineering part, design, procurement, construction, environmental approval and logistics.
Now, there is a power purchase agreement in place with the Bangladeshi authorities for 15 years.
Citing the company’s success in Bangladesh as a win-win situation for both sides, he said Lakdhanavi could provide employment to both Sri Lankans and Bangladeshi nationals through this investment.
The projects in Bangladesh are a blessing for Lakdhanavi, starved of such opportunities in Sri Lanka for the last five years. Sri Lanka did not implement any power project for the last five years despite an imminent power crisis.
The company made a bid for the Kerawalapitiya LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) power project, but could not secure it despite being the lowest bidder. Now, the matter is pending in court.
Commenting on the situation, Mr. Nanayakkara said, “For the last five years, we did not get a sizeable power project in Sri Lanka. There was no plant in Sri Lanka. We made a bid for Kerawalapitiya. Ladhanavi quoted the lowest. Yet it was not given to us. This is the project we got through a competitive bidding process in Bangladesh,”
Lakdhanavi is positive and optimistic as far as its prospects in Bangladesh are concerned.
“In Bangladesh, you will get the project if you quote the lowest price. That is the good part there. Also, Bangladeshis prefer to work with Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is their preferred choice in the region,” he said.
When Lakdhanavi’ went to Bangladesh in 2010 looking for investment opportunities, the country was experiencing daily power outages for eight hours. Power disrupted even at the hotels where Lakdhanavi officials took accommodation. Today they have a huge installed capacity.
The market has saturated as a result. So, Lakdhanavi is looking for opportunities in the renewable sector. (Kelum Bandara)