Japanese deputy premier tours Sri Lankan hydro power plant

May 5, 2012 (LBO) – Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Katsuya Okada, began his second day in Sri Lanka on Saturday touring the island’s last hydro power plant that is being built with Japanese assistance. The underground Upper Kotmale tunnel, is also Sri Lanka’s longest tunnel, with a distance of 12.9 kilometers. The tunnel was finished in late 2010.

Okada arrived in Colombo on Friday for a two-day visit to coincide with marking 60-years of diplomatic relations between both countries.

He is also touring several key Japanese-funded projects and is due to visit a mini-power grid, a dry-fish project and a coconut development farm in the northern Kilinochchi region. Accompanied by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, Okada inspected the 150 megawatte Upper Kotmale hydro power project, that is scheduled to finish construction in June, Sri Lanka’s power ministry said in a statement.

Work on the hydro power project began in 2006, with the Japanese government pledging Yen 37,817 million. The state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has also chipped in with over 8.5 billion rupees towards the construction work.