Quick Jab

Sri Lanka has secured US$ 500 million soft loan from China to finance a coal power plant and highway projects, officials said Friday. Sri Lanka has secured US$ 500 million soft loan from China to finance a coal power plant and highway projects, officials said Friday. The long talked of 300 mega watt coal plant will come up in Norachcholai, with the final feasibility report due by August 15, Power & Energy Minister Susil Premajayantha told reporters.

Putting up a coal power plant will cost US$ 300 million and will be constructed on a design, build and transfer basis.

A Chinese team is due next week to finalise the feasibility report and Premajayantha is upbeat the project could kick off before the year ends.

The balance funds will be split up to fund key highway projects including the Katunayake-Colombo-Ratmalana express rail network.

China’s Exim & Import Bank will lend the funds with repayments fixed at two percent annual interest payable over a 20 year period (including a five-year grace period).

Sri Lanka’s electricity demand grows at an annual average of nine percent and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) n