Sri Lanka India coal plant, no firm date yet: minister

Minister appoints Dr Swaminathan to IPACSL

Sept 03, 2010 (LBO) – A starting date for a joint venture India Sri Lanka coal power station has still not been set, but it will be last coal plant that the government will approve, Sri Lanka’s energy minister Patali Ranawaka said. “It is in the feasibility study stage,” he said.

Minister Ranawaka said there was no date yet set to start the plant but the 500 MegaWatt plant to be sited on Sri Lanka’s east coast was expected to come on stream in 2017.

In January 2011 Sri Lanka’s first 300 MegaWatt coal plant designed, built and financed by China, is to be connected to the national grid.

China is also financing the second stage of the power complex in Puttalam in Sri Lanka’s western coast. The second 600 MegaWatt stage is expected to come on stream in 2014 the minister said.

The Chinese built complex is fully owned by Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). The east coast plant will be a 50 percent joint venture with India’s National Thermal Power Corporation.

China signed off on the loan for the second stage of the Puttalam complex before NTPC could get financial closure on its project with the cash-strapped CEB.

Minister Ranawaka said Sri Lanka was looking to generate more energy from w