Iranian president to inaugurate Sri Lanka hydro-power project

April 19, 2008 (AFP) – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will travel to Sri Lanka later this month to inaugurate construction of an Iranian-funded hydroelectricity project, the government said on Friday. Iran is paying for the 450-million-dollar Uma Oya power project which is slated to produce 100 megawatts of electricity annually.

“The Iranian president will be arriving in Colombo on April 28 on a two-day state visit,” junior Foreign Minister Hussain Baila said.

The Iranian president is expected to travel to the deep south of the island for a ceremony launching the construction work, he said.

“We have friendly relations with all the nations and Iran is one of our best friends,” Baila said, adding that Iran was also expected to help Sri Lanka modernise its lone oil refinery.

Energy-hungry Sri Lanka imports all its oil needs and the country’s refinery is geared to handle Iranian light crude. .