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Raeisi attends inauguration of Iran-built mega multipurpose project in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's Uma Oya multipurpose development project

Iran's President Ebrahim Raeisi has taken part in the inauguration ceremony of a mega multi-purpose project built by Iranian contractors in Sri Lanka, which was long delayed due to international sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The Uma Oya project includes two dams, a 28-kilometer water transmission tunnels and a 120-MW underground power plant.

The multi-purpose super project is one of the largest in providing technical and engineering services of Iran to other countries in the fields of dam construction, water transfer, and electricity production.

The project aims to generate 290 GWh of electricity annually and improve irrigation of 4,500 hectares of new land and 1,500 hectares of existing agricultural land.

The hydropower and irrigation project, valued at $514 million, was started in 2010 by Iran's FARAB engineering group and was scheduled for completion in 2015 but was delayed by the sanctions, technical issues and the COVID-19 pandemic,

Iran initially provided $50 million but in 2013, funding could not be continued due to international sanctions against Iran. The Sri Lankan government then decided to complete the project with its own funds using the same Iranian contractor.

The process of construction, monitoring, and consulting of the project was completely done by the Iranian company, according to spokesman of Iran's Government, Ali Bahadori-Jahromi.

The Iranian president arrived in Sri Lanka on Wednesday morning at the invitation of his Sri Lankan counterpart.

During his one-day trip to Sri Lanka, Raeisi is scheduled to hold talks with the officials of the South Asian country, attend several inauguration ceremonies and sign five memoranda of understanding.

The latest visit comes as the two countries have agreed to boost relations and expand their cooperation in various fields, including economy, tourism, science and technology.

Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry has already said his country is ready to implement economic projects undertaken by Iranian experts in the country in light of the Islamic Republic’s industrial and economic capabilities.

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