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Iran's Prez Ebrahim Raisi to inaugurate Sri Lankan hydropower and irrigation project

B360 April 24, 2024, 4:17 pm
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COLOMBO, SRI LANKA: Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday to inaugurate a long-delayed hydropower and irrigation project, which had been impacted by international sanctions on his government among other issues. Raisi is the first Iranian leader to visit Sri Lanka since the visit of former President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad in 2008.

The project, valued at $514 million, was initiated in 2010 by Iran’s FARAB engineering group, with Iran initially providing $50 million. However, in 2013, funding could not be continued due to international sanctions against Iran. Consequently, the Sri Lankan government decided to complete the project using its own funds, while retaining the same Iranian contractor.

Although the project was scheduled for completion in 2015, it was delayed due to sanctions, technical issues, and the Covid 19 pandemic, according to the government. Once operational, the project will contribute 290 GWh of electricity annually to the national grid and irrigate 4,500 hectares (11,100 acres) of new land and 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of existing agricultural land.

President Raisi and Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe are set to witness the signing of five memoranda of understanding and are scheduled to issue a joint statement.

President Raisi arrived in Sri Lanka from Pakistan, where the two countries agreed to bolster economic and security cooperation.


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