Leading Sri Lankan Industries Curb Energy Use Cutting Costs and Carbon

Kick-starting a new era of industrial energy efficiency across Sri Lanka, the first batch of 45 Sri Lankan Energy Management System trainees were awarded their graduation certificates at a ceremony yesterday. Supported by the European Union-funded project ‘Accelerating Industries’ Climate Response in Sri Lanka’, this effort has the potential to improve national energy security and help the country meet its climate goals in the coming years.

“The manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of our economy,” said Chief Guest Minister of Industries Dr Ramesh Pathirana. “Our recent energy crisis and the global climate crisis made it very clear that we must find alternatives to fossil fuels. That’s why I am so excited to see some of our biggest players in the manufacturing sector looking at how they can reduce energy waste. It’s a critical part of the clean energy solution for this country.”

European Union Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Carmen Moreno mentioned that, “Geopolitics of the energy crisis leaves countries dependent on fossil fuel hugely vulnerable. A shift to green and renewable energy is needed in Sri Lanka and worldwide. And this is an area in which the European Union can share significant experiences and knowledge. Clean energy transition, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions and enhances the quality of life, is among our top priorities. For that reason, we support initiatives like this one and we are happy to see local industry leaders gaining practical skills and advancing their companies toward energy efficiency.”

There is considerable potential for reducing industrial energy waste across Sri Lanka’s manufacturing sector by deploying cost-effective technology and management practices. To harness this potential, over the past 12 months, two leading United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) trainers with the support of the National Cleaner Production Centre guided this first group through an internationally recognized training course on Energy Management Systems (EnMS).

“In an industrial plant, energy management systems focus everyone’s attention on the importance of not only conserving energy, but implementing measures that can save energy and reduce emissions, “said UNIDO Project Manager Nicholas Dehod. “That’s where the journey of moving away from fossil fuels starts.”

The course covered global best practices, but also took participants out of the classroom into their work environments where they developed energy management systems that are tailored to their company’s needs.

In the longer-term, participating companies are now on-track to slash up to 25 per cent from their energy bills. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka now has a new cohort of energy consultants able to advise more companies on how to reduce energy waste and save money.

With interest in Energy Management Systems training high, the Project will offer further courses, with the next one due to start in early 2024.

The EnMS training is part of the ‘Accelerating Industries’ Climate Response in Sri Lanka’ project. This 5-year, €7.56-million initiative is funded by the EU’s Global Climate Change Alliance+ (GCCA+). It is implemented by UNIDO, while the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Industries, and the Ministry of Power and Energy are the lead government counterparts. The project is a cornerstone of the Sri Lankan Government’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions in the industrial sector by 7 percent by 2030 according to its updated (2021) Nationally Determined Contributions