Sri Lanka hikes defense spending to record high

Updated 28 September 2014

Sri Lanka hikes defense spending to record high

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka raised defense spending to record levels for a second straight year despite pressure to scale down its military after ending decades of ethnic war, official figures showed.
The government allocated 285 billion rupees ($2.22 billion) for the defense ministry in calendar 2015, up 12.25 percent from this year, according to the appropriation bill tabled in parliament.
There was no immediate comment from the government on its record defense spending to maintain a large security force more than five years after President Mahinda Rajapakse’s troops crushed separatist Tamil rebels.
Colombo is under international pressure to reduce its military presence in the island’s former war zones and take troops away from civilian duties.
However, official sources said a three-year spending plan of the government envisaged even more increases in national security spending to over 370 billion rupees ($2.89 billion) by 2017.
Security forces in May 2009 declared an end to 37 years of ethnic war which had claimed at least 100,000 lives, according to UN estimates.
Defense spending accounts for 16.6 percent of the government’s projected revenue for 2015, according to official figures.
Sri Lanka’s economy recorded more than eight percent growth in the first two full years after the end of the fighting, but is expected to grow at a slightly slower 7.8 percent this year.
Rajapakse, who holds both the finance and defense portfolios, is due to unveil the full 2015 budget in November, when he is expected to announce revenue proposals to meet state expenses.


Emirati consortium studies implementing wind energy project in Egypt

Updated 29 September 2020

Emirati consortium studies implementing wind energy project in Egypt

  • The coalition has submitted a request to the New and Renewable Energy Authority to allocate land for the purpose

CAIRO: Official sources at the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy revealed that an Emirati consortium is currently studying the implementation of a wind farm, with investments of about EGP 8 billion ($500 million).

The coalition has submitted a request to the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) to allocate land for the purpose, and the authority has already agreed to it. The total capacity of the station is about 500 megawatts.

The consortium is carrying out studies that will take two years and that include measuring wind speed, monitoring bird migration and studying the soil for the project, which will take place in the Gulf of Suez region as it has a strong wind force, an important factor.

The station is expected to implement the BOO system (Build, Own, Operate), provided that the coalition sells the energy produced to the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company, the operator of the national grid, entrusted with the purchase of energy.

The area of land allocated for the establishment of the project — in cooperation with the private sector under the usufructuary right system — is 7,872 km, according to data from the NREA.

The sources pointed out that the average selling price of renewable energy is currently declining, ranging between $0.02 to $0.025 per kilowatt hour. Land is allocated for 2 percent of the energy produced or its equivalent and throughout the project’s duration; then, the authority will recover it.

Egypt is rich in natural resources, including wind and solar energy, which makes it one of the largest producers of renewable energy. The total installed capacity of renewable energies is close to 20 percent of the maximum load.

Egypt plans to increase its total production of renewable energy to about 20 percent of the total electricity generated by 2022, of which 12 percent from wind, 6 percent from hydroelectricity, and 2 percent from solar.