Changing Lives, Helping Communities

29 Nov

“Considering the level at which I joined and where I am today, I am very happy and I can now easily support my family. The training we receive is on-the-job and the experience we receive is the best. Before the plant was started the Company promised the community many things and these have been successfully delivered.
So much has been done and the community is very happy”

These were the warm words of praise spoken by Mr Nimal Premarathne from Ace Power Embilipitiya. He joined at its inception in 2005 as a casual worker with the title of junior general helper. Through the years he has risen in ranks to the position of technician. This has been made possible through his dedication and love for the Company as well as the trust and confidence placed on employees by the Company. Ace Power Embilipitiya, a joint venture between Aitken Spence and German owned DEG, is an independent power producer for the CEB. Set in a considerably rural area, the idea of a power plant was not greeted enthusiastically by the community at first. This of course was natural, given the fact that it is generally the norm that power plants are noisy, disruptive and the people and area become industrialized.

This is where Ace Power Embilipitiya proved every negative thinker wrong! This power plant, set on 44 acres of marshy land, occupies only 10 of it for the plant purposes. In the 5 years since Aitken Spence took over its operations and management, not only the plant but the surrounding villages have developed in leaps and bounds. Community development projects are an ongoing process and are chosen based on the need and impact on the community. A most pressing need was that of drinking water. The plant, through the construction of 6 tanks, was able to meet this need to a great extent, benefiting around 3000-4000 families. Several other projects focused on the supply of electricity to the villages and on road development. All these projects, even when outsourced, gave priority to the local community in terms of jobs. Whilst these development projects have been a great strength to Community development projects are an ongoing process and are chosen based on the need and impact on the community. A most pressing need was that of drinking water. The plant, through the construction of 6 tanks, was able to meet this need to a great extent, benefiting around 3000-4000 families. Several other projects focused on the supply of electricity to the villages and on road development. All these projects, even when outsourced, gave priority to the local community in terms of jobs. Whilst these development projects have been a great strength to the community, what has had a bigger impact on their lives are the environmentally friendly practices brought about by the plant. The land area not utilised for the plant has been drastically changed to accommodate 10000-15000 plants, medicinal herbs, agricultural development projects and bee keeping projects.

The dramatic change from a barren land to the lush green area it is today is certainly a big achievement. Once again, it is with the community in mind that these changes have been instigated. The plant conducts advisory services (which include course programmes and training sessions) on farming, bee keeping, herbal plants as well as youth development programmes. It is clear that Ace Power Embilipitiya has gone above and beyond their call of duty to integrate themselves within the community, therefore leaving a green community footprint in the area.


K G Nimal Premarathne (left) and Amal Thushara

As Amal Thushara, another employee at the plant, who has worked there since its inception and has risen to the rank of plant assistant technician from his former general helper status, says – “A real change and a change for the better has taken place through the various services offered by the plant. Everyone is pleasantly surprised because as soon as they walk through the gates of the plant they can see the difference. The plant is open for viewing 3-4 times a week and this greatly benefits the school children too. Also, the plant and the Company helps the community no matter who or what they are. This goodwill and good reputation is beneficial to all of us who work at the plant as well. This plant is a plant with a difference”.

What better praise and accolades can a Company receive, than that of their longstanding employees and the community in which they operate?

Ace Magazine – Volume II – Issue 7

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