GEI Brings Renewable Energy to Sri Lanka

GEI leverages funds and expands renewable energy throughout Sri Lanka

GEI Brings Renewable Energy to Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA (Feb. 6, 2009) – Sri Lanka’s External Resources Department (ERD) of the Ministry of Finance and Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka highly praised GEI’s Sri Lanka biogas project specifically in terms of its contributions to Sri Lanka’s rural development and environmental protection at the event, “Conclusion and Future Development for GEI’s Sri Lanka Biogas Project,” held in Sri Lanka on February 6, 2009.

The Sri Lanka partners at the special meeting – GEI 2009

The purposes of the meeting were to celebrate the project’s successful completion and to discuss the future development plan for the project. Sri Lanka’s ERD, the Ministry of Livestock Development, Chinese Embassy in Sri Lanka and GEI all sent delegates to the meeting.

Following this meeting, the ERD will submit a loan application of USD6 million to Chinese Embassy to aid on GEI’s Sri Lanka project. If the aid money is approved, an additional 5,100 biogas digesters will be built across Sri Lanka.

Mr. Sunimal Senaratne, Secretary from the Ministry of Livestock Development, introduced to the attendees the development process of the project, how the ministry cooperated with GEI and the project’s successful outputs.

Project Impact

Over the project’s half year duration, from May 2008 to January 2009, GEI’s team cooperated well with Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Livestock Development and successfully achieved a majority of the goals of the project. All in all, GEI held trainings on biogas construction in 5 of Sri Lanka’s 9 provinces, reached 23 local technicians, and built 56 biogas digesters.

The project officers sit at special ceremony hosted by a recipient village – GEI 2009

In the remaining months, the project team will actively carry out the second stage of the project and will begin the growth and sale of organic vegetables, with cooperation from members of local government, businesses and farmers, making full use of available biogas technology in the process.

Accolades and Support

Mme Jin Jiaman (third from right) with the project team and partners – GEI 2009

Mr. Senaratne expressed his gratitude to GEI’s project team for its dedication and enthusiasm during the times when difficulties occurred during project activity.

Dr. Wasantha Piyadasa, Director of the Ministry of Livestock Development and overseer of project activity on the Sri Lanka side, made a presentation on biogas digester construction to attendees of the conference. The techniques and the advantages of the techniques used in biogas digester construction were detailed in Dr. Piyadasa’s presentation.

Mr. Chen Zhiping, GEI’s Sustainable Rural Development program officer, offered examples of how the project had improved the local villagers’ lives, one example being the story of Mr. R.N. Pereva, a local villager in Kandy City in Central Province. His monthly expenditure on firewood and gas was very high before the biogas digester was built in his home. After the biogas tank was constructed, he no longer needed to buy firewood and gas for his home and can now save LKR4,000 to 5,000 (approx. USD36 to 45) every month. Furthermore, he could earn LKR1,000 (approx. USD9) per month through selling biogas slurry.

Mme. Jin Jiaman, GEI’s Executive Director, offered her suggestions for the future development of the project. She proposed that Sri Lanka government could apply aid given in the form of yearly loans from the Chinese government to scale up the project.

Field Visit

After the meeting, the delegates visited a small village in Sri Lanka’s Western Province to hold discussions with several households where biogas digesters were constructed.

Installing the biogas digester takes teamwork and dedication – GEI 2009

The villagers from five households showed the delegates how they use biogas on a daily basis, from adding raw materials (e.g. manure) to the biogas tanks to using gas-powered lights and stoves. One could tell from their expression that they are satisfied and pride. The five villagers also drew pictures describing the changes to their lives after biogas construction, which were hung on trees for the delegates to observe.

Villagers’ drawings explain how the electricity generated from the biogas digester can improve their daily life by easing tasks like cooking – GEI 2009


Inspecting the digester’s installation – GEI 2009

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