India plays discreet in securing foot holds in Sri Lankan economy

SuchirIndia Executives in discussion with President Rajapaksa - photo courtesy CDN

SuchirIndia Executives in discussion with President Rajapaksa - photo courtesy CDN

The Sri Lankan economy that does not show significant attraction from foreign investors even after the war was declared over in May this year, is being subtly manoeuvred by Indian investments with different companies making discreet entries with numerous projects.

While the SL government itself is making overtures for Indian investments with its Minister of Investment Promotion, Navin Dissanayake making a tour of India looking for Indian investment, India’s National Thermal Power Corporation has tied up with the Sri Lankan electricity board to construct a 1000 MW coal power plant in Sampur, Trincomalee. Sampur is one village that came under attack by the SL security forces early 2008 and its people made to flee.

Minister Navin Dissanayake said, Sri Lanka attracted a total FDI of USD 889-million in 2008, out of which India’s contribution was USD 126-million. This was when the international community was reluctant to support the SL government over HR violations with its escalation of the war.

This year, Sri Lanka is expecting a foreign direct investment (FDI) from India to the tune of USD 100-million by end-December.

Meanwhile Minister Dissanayake had said SL is prevailing on Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries for exploration of oil in the island nation.

Cairn India had already taken one block for US $ 400 million for oil exploration in the Mannar sea and Reliance could also have about the same size of the deal in exploration of another bloc, the minister had said.

In another business deal worth US $ 250 mn, SuchirIndia, a Hyderabad based group, in collaboration with NEB Rapid Infrastructure Projects will construct a 40 storied building in Battaramulla close to the parliament complex through a special purpose vehicle SUCHIRNEB Projects Pvt Ltd.

Following news reports during the past few days revealed some details about these business deals between India and Sri Lanka.

(01)

Sri Lanka expecting USD 100-mn FDI from India by end-December

Sri Lanka is expecting a foreign direct investment (FDI) from India to the tune of USD 100-million by end-December, a senior Lankan Government official said on Thursday.

“We are targeting FDI worth USD 1,000-million by the end of this year (2009) and India’s contribution this year is expected to be around USD 100-million,” Sri Lanka’s Minister of Investment Promotion, Navin Dissanayake, said here.

He was in the city to meet with Indian investors, including big conglomerates such as the Tata group.

In 2008, Sri Lanka attracted a total FDI of USD 889-million out of which India’s contribution was USD 126-million, he said.

“Last year, out of the USD 126-million FDI which came from India, a major share of around USD 100-million came from Bharti Airtel,” Dissanayake said.

Airtel LogoIndia’s largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, has started its mobile services in Sri Lanka under the Airtel brand.

The company has announced a total investment of USD 200-million till 2012 in Sri Lanka. 17 Sep 2009, 1558 hrs IST, PTI

(02)

US $ 500 million power deal between Sri Lanka and India

Sri Lanka is expected to sign a commercial agreement with India next week to build a 1000 MW coal power plant in Sampur, Trincomalee.

Sampur (circled) strategically located neighbouring Trincomalee harbour

Sampur (circled) strategically located neighbouring Trincomalee harbour

This will be the country’s largest coal power plant and the total investment of the project is USD 500 million a media release issued by the Ministry of Power and Energy revealed.

The coal power plant is a joint project of India and Sri Lanka. An agreement on power purchasing of the new coal power plant will also be signed between India and the Ceylon Electricity Board, the statement said.

The project will consist of two phases and the first phase is expected to be completed by 2012. Initial planning of the project has been completed and it is expected to commence the construction work of the coal power plant in November, the statement said.

Construction work of the coal power plant will be done by India’s National Thermal Power Corporation and the Ceylon Electricity Board will monitor the engineering work of the project.

By NNN-News. LK, 18 September 2009 – 4:57pm.

(03)

Sri Lanka Wants India’s Reliance Industries for Oil Exploration

The Sri Lankan government wants to rope in Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries for exploration of oil in the island nation.

“(We) are in talks with Reliance for petroleum exploration,” Sri Lankan Minister for Investment Promotion Navin Dissanayake told reporters at a CII function.

He said he would be visiting Mumbai on Tuesday to meet senior RIL officials.

“We have identified couple of blocks exclusively for India,” Dissanayake said, adding that RIL had shown interest in the Sri Lankan oil fields.

“For exploration Cairn India took one block for US $400 million. So, if Reliance [will agree to explore] it will be [at] that figure at least,” he said about the size of the deal.

The oil blocks which Sri Lanka had offered to RIL were located in Mannar and Southern basins, the visiting minister said.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

(04)

Indian company bags $ 250 mn building project in Colombo

An Indian construction company SuchirIndia has entered into a collaboration with Sri Lankan firm NEB Rapid Infrastructure Projects to implement a 250-million-dollar project in the suburbs of Colombo. SuchirIndia, a Hyderabad-based group, in collaboration with NEB Rapid Infrastructure Projects will construct a 40 storeyed building through a special purpose vehicle SUCHIRNEB Projects Pvt Ltd in the first phase.

The project is to construct a tower complex that would comprise a 40 floor commercial complex and a 70 floor Residential tower (in the second phase) at Battaramulla in the Colombo suburbs. The 1.2 million sq feet structure is expected to be completed in 30 months, company officials said.

When contacted, SUCHIRNEB Director Y Kiron told PTI that the first project of a 40-floor complex is estimated to cost USD 110 million, the second phase of a 70-floor Residential tower is expected to cost USD 140 million. “Working in close association with Sri Lanka, its various government representative bodies and officials has been a pleasure in view of their unending willingness to support and help on all counts,” he said.

“We hope to establish our foot print into Colombo with this project and hope to extend it further and further into new areas,” he said. The project will also involve the Sri Lankan government.

T V SRIRAM; Colombo, Sept 18 (PTI)

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