Sri Lanka to light up remaining pockets: minister

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 03, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to light up the entire island by expanding the national distribution network at a cost of 250 million US dollars over the next two years and providing off-grid solutions to the remotest areas, officials said. The CEB had lined up about 250 million US dollars in local and foreign financing to extend and upgrade the grid.

The utility was also extending its distribution to the former war torn north and east where people are now being resettled.

A 106 million dollar credit was due from Iran. The utility had got 36 million US dollars in credit for the north and for Amparai in the East a 25 million US dollars credit has been obtained from the Asian Development Bank.

China’s Exim bank was giving another 60 million US dollars to re-build the network in Batticaloa and Trincomalee in the East, Ferdinando said.

For the north central province, a 53 million US dollar credit had been lined up, he said.

About 5.0 billion rupees in local financing (43 million US dollars) has been lined up for projects in the Southern and Western provinces, he said.

“We want to give electricity to 100 percent of the households by 2012,” power minister Patali Ranawaka told reporters.

“At the moment about 85