Power Drive

April 09, 2007 – Sri Lanka Monday officially kicked off work on building a Japanese funded hydro power project in the island’s central hills, which will add 150 mega wattes of power to the national grid, the Japanese embassy here said. The 33.27 million dollar yen or 30 billion rupee Upper Kotmale project got off the ground under the aegis of Power Minister John Seneviratne and Deputy Head of Mission at the Japanese embassy, Nobuaki Ito.

Authorities hope to connect the power station to the national grid by 2010.

Funded through concessionary terms from Japan Bank for International Cooperation or JBIC, the government will build a 35 meter high and 157 meter long dam across the Kotmale Oya at Thalawakele.

From Thalawakele onwards, the water will be fed through a 12.5 kilometer (7.8 mile) long tunnel to an underground power station at Niyamgamdara.

“The government of Japan has assisted the development of Sri Lanka for over 50 years, and the power sector is one of the most prioritized sectors among the various fields,” the Japanese embassy said.

In the past, Japan has helped build the Samanalawewa Hydropower, Kukule Ganga Hydropower, Kelanitissa Combined Cycle Power Plant and many other power distribut