Done Deal

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe (2nd R) arrives to visit the site of a bomb attack at St. Anthony's Shrine in Kochchikade in Colombo on April 21, 2019. - A string of blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka on April 21, killing at least 156 people, including 35 foreigners. (Photo by ISHARA S. KODIKARA / AFP) (Photo credit should read ISHARA S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Mar 15 (LBO) – The Treasury inked a deal with China National Machinery and Equipment Corporation on Wednesday, to build a US$ 455 million power plant in Norachcholai.

Two decades overdue, the 300 megawatt plant as well as supporting infrastructure will be entirely funded by the Chinese government, Ranjith Fonseka, General Manager for the sole power utility, the Ceylon Electricity Board, told LBO.

Supporting infrastructure will include cargo and coal handling facilities as well as a 115 kilometer transmission line. The entire project will take about four years to build.

Feasibility and environmental clearances are ready, with 74 families currently being resettled to acquire the land for the project – a process that could take six months.

We are being ambitious but are working to begin construction on the ground by the end of this year, Fonseka said.

A coal power plant at Norachcholai in Puttalam has been a political hot potato, with successive governments shelving the project due to political pressure over the best site.

A coal power plant will give Sri Lanka’s strained generating system a boost, with a critical need for