Sri Lanka in final talks over India coal joint venture: official

July 6, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board is in the final stage of discussions with India’s National Thermal Power Corporation to build a 500 MegaWatt coal plant, an official said. “We are in final stage of discussion,” deputy chairman of Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board Anura Senaka Wijayapala said.

“We hope to sign the final agreements within a month or two. We hope to begin construction by the end of 2012 and issue tenders to buy equipment.”

The coal plant will be a 50/50 joint venture with CEB and NTPC. Each partner will contribute75 million US dollars in equity for the 500 million dollar plant in Sampur, in Sri Lanka’s north eastern port city of Trincomalee.

Related facilities of a jetty to unload coal and infrastructure to take off power are expected cost another 200 million US dollars, officials said in September 2011 when a shareholder agreement was signed.

At the time Indian officials said they planned reach financial closure in two months. India is giving a 200 million US dollar soft loan to Sri Lanka for the power project. CEB is cash-strapped and running heavy losses.

Initial cabinet approval for the joint venture was given as far back as i