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Sri Lanka investment board approves $442 million Adani Green wind power plants

FILE PHOTO: The logo of the Adani group is seen on the facade of one of its buildings on the outskirts of Ahmedabad

COLOMBO (Reuters) - Sri Lanka's Board of Investment on Wednesday approved two wind power plants by India's Adani Green Energy Ltd with a total investment of $442 million, a statement issued by the board said.

"The two wind power plants of 350 MW are scheduled to be commissioned in two years and accordingly, they will be added to the national grid by 2025," the statement added.

Adani Green Energy is the renewable energy unit of the embattled Adani Group, whose seven listed companies have lost some $125 billion in market value after a U.S. short seller last month alleged improper use of tax havens and stock manipulation by the apples-to-airports conglomerate.

The Adani Group has denied any wrongdoing.

Sri Lankans have been struggling with rolling powers cuts for over a year as the country struggled to generate sufficient amounts of thermal and coal power, which has pushed the government to fast track renewable energy projects.

The island nation hiked power prices by a hefty 66% last week, part of efforts to nail down a $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), as it struggles to find a way out of its worst financial crisis in more than seven decades.

A group of Adani officials are in Colombo to evaluate multiple projects with Sri Lanka. The conglomerate is also involved in building a $700 million terminal project at Sri Lanka's largest port.

The Sri Lankan Board of Investment statement said the Adani wind power project will generate 1,500 to 2,000 new job opportunities.

Sri Lanka also aims to export renewable energy from its northern areas to southern India.

(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe in Colombo; Writing by Shivam Patel; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Bill Berkrot)