Iran, Sri Lanka inaugurate Uma Oya multipurpose development project

Colombo: Visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Wednesday inaugurated the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project (UOMDP) with an expected annual energy production of 290 gigawatt hours.

It is also one of the largest irrigation projects in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s state media reported.

The 514-million-US-dollar project was designed and built by Iran’s Farab engineering group, the state-owned Daily News said.

Addressing the inauguration event, Wickremesinghe said the project was implemented with Iranian technology, Xinhua news agency reported.

Raisi said that through technical collaboration, Iran and Sri Lanka have set a shining example for the world.

The primary purpose of the project is to address the water scarcity in Sri Lanka’s southeastern region by redirecting an annual average of 145 million cubic meters of water from the Uma Oya basin, Minister of Irrigation Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi said at the inauguration ceremony.

The project will provide water to 4,500 hectares of new land and 1,500 hectares of existing agricultural land, she said.

The project commenced in November 2007.

State media reported that the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) initially funded 50 million U.S. dollars for the project. However, due to international sanctions against Iran, EDBI was unable to continue providing funds from 2013.

Consequently, the Sri Lankan government opted to proceed with the project using government funds while maintaining the services of the same contractor Farab company, the Daily News reported


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