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A local hydro-power construction company commences its operations in Africa

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Hydropower International Ltd, a local hydro power construction company expands its business in East African countries to obtain more foreign revenue

Chairman, CEO of the company Dr.Nishantha Nanayakkara says at present the company provides consultancy and construction support in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi to setup Mini hydro power project with isolated mini grids and community power projects for giving acceess to
electricity for rural townships without depending on expensive Diesel power projects.

This idea was first introduced by Dr. Nishantha Nanayakkara for UNIDO when he worked as a UNIDO consultant in 2004.

With the support of UNIDO, Rwanda had the opportunity to possess its first mini grid and hydro power project in Nyamyotsi village to electrify 450 households from a 100 kw project. This novel concept made the way for Rwanda government to take up the initiative to develop all its indegenous hydro resources and grid connected and isolated mini grid projects.

“We have experte Sri Lankan team to construct hydro power projects and mini grids in anywhere in the world” , he said.

At present the company works with the Ministry of Infrastructure of Rwanda to construct seven mini grids and hydro power projects .In addition to this, the sister company of Hydro Power International, ENCO undertook the contract from UNIDO to develop four hydro power projects with mini grids in Rwanda.

Nananayakkara, the Chairman of both the companies said that they have a massive operation to complete all 11 projects by the end of this year. Hence he has resigned from even University of Moratuwa where he worked at Electrical Engineering Dept. He has streamlined all his business activities in Sri Lanka to give more emphasis to East Africa. Dr. Nanayakkara is engaged in Solar power and ceramics sanitoryware manufacturing in Sri Lanka in addition to hydro power consultancy and project management.

In East Africa operations, the company hires Sri Lankan expertise to complete feasibility,construction and the consultancy on all these projects and gave opportunity other experts and different companies to get involve in his projects with shared opportunity. “We use 100 percent Sri Lankan skilled labour to complete these missions and they are working us to achieve our company goals , he said.

Dr;Nanayakkakara, a product from Richmond College, Galle and graduated from University of Moratuwa who has a vast experience about hydro power sector in Sri Lanka. He works with the UNIDO and World bank missions as a consultant on hydro power. “Sixty five Sri Lankans are working with Hydro Power International in Rwanda .We plan to start another hydro power project in Tanzania as well. I am working with the World Bank as a consultant to prepare feasibility reports in Liberia and Tanzania to construct hydro power projects, he said.

The company commenced its operations in Rwanda in year 2004 to complete a hydro power project and rest of the projects are to be completed in year 2010, he said.

Dr; Nanayakkarara who introduced isolated mini grid with Hydro power as a UNIDO consultant sector to the Rwandan government in few years ago shows best results. “Most of families who receive electricity from UNIDO first mini hydro power station in Nyamyotsi in Rwanda started their self employment projects. That area got heavy boost in developing SMEs , Light Engineering works and most of residents became entrepreneurs after introduction of Hydro power to the Rwandan community, Dr. Nanayakkara said.

The Rwandan government had plans to start Thermal power stations , but with the support of UNIDO, Dr. Nanayakkara changed the government view and introduced Mini Hydro power generation .

After the success of the project the Rwandan government asked the Hydro Power International to start another Eight power projects without calling tenders.

We completed our first project in year 2007 and it generates 100 Kilowatt .The project provides twenty four hour electricity service for 450 families .After six months, the station provided its full capacity and assisted to start SMEs in that area, said the CEO. “We have some other opportunities in Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Democratic Congo .We are working with the investors, banks and other responsible agencies to obtain these contracts to start the power projects, he said.

However he said the Central. Bank and finance Ministry of Sri Lanka has no speedy service and no systems to support Sri Lankan companies who cross the borders to undertake projects. He had a very pathetic experience in getting Central Bank approval to transfer his own money to Rwanda to meet his cash flow. Sri Lanka always treat its own people as roughs so they look all Sri Lankans with suspicion which has demotivated our entrepreneurs. . We need conducive systems and speedy service to start our outside investments , he said.

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