Business Times

Lankan firm builds Uganda’s largest hydro power plant

VS.Hydro Private Ltd, a Sri Lankan hydro power construction company has expanded its business to East African countries to earn more foreign revenue for the country, and has built the largest hydro power plant in Uganda with a capacity of 18 MW and costing $30 million. It was commissioned by the country’s Power and Energy Minister Simon D'Ujanga recently.

The hydropower plant with a 103 meter tunnel and three turbines of 6MW each was built with the assistance of 200 Sri Lankan workers, a spokesman of the Ministry of Power and Energy told the Business Times. Head of VS.Hydro Private Ltd Prabodha Sumanasekara said that at present the company provides consultancy and construction support to set up mini hydro power projects with isolated mini grids and community power projects for giving access to electricity for rural townships without depending on expensive diesel power plants. In the Ugandan operations, the company hired Sri Lankan expertise to complete the feasibility, construction and the consultancy. “We used 100 % Sri Lankan skilled labour to complete the mission,” he said.

Mr Sumanasekera’s journey in business began when his father decided to start a pioneering workshop to manufacture science equipment for school laboratories. It was started with no capital and with a single employee and developed into a factory employing 200 people and the business was named as Vidya Shilpa.

With the open economy, the competition from cheaper products from India and China was so intensive that it led him to focus his efforts to a new territory of business where the development mini hydro projects emerged under their wing. Vidya Shilpa started new business by rehabilitating mini hydro electricity systems in the country which were abandoned after British rule ended.

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