Sri Lanka Hemas eyes renewable power as post-war demand rises

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 14, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Hemas Power is building another hydropower plant, raising generation capacity to 24 Giga Watt hours (millions of units) of energy a year from hydro plants which it plans to expand in preference to fossil-fuel power. Hemas also has a joint-venture company called Heladhanavi which generates thermal power and contributes about seven percent of the nation’s annual electricity generation.

Nanayakkara said that in “a buoyant post-war era” the power generation sector is a “key catalyst in unlocking the nation’s economic potential.”

The island’s 30-year ethnic war ended in May 2009 resulting in an economic revival.

“If economic activities gather momentum as widely anticipated, the country’s per-capita income level is likely to grow at a faster pace,” Nanayakkara said.

“With that, it becomes obvious that the household electricity consumption will also rise. Greater economic activity could also fuel greater electricity demand from the industrial front.”

Demand for electricity is seen rising faster than that forecast by government before the war ended, Nanayakkara said.

While almost half of the increase in demand is to be met through coal-power plants, Nanayakkara said they believe coal-fi