300MW open cycle power plant to be commissioned by Sept.
The Open Cycle Plant of the 300MW Combined Cycle Power Plant at
Kerawalapitiya will be commissioned by the end of September, according
to an official of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).
He said the commissioning tests of the power plant have already
commenced and the plant will be fully commissioned by the end of next
year though the stipulated time was March 2010.
Sources said the power crisis in the country will ease to a certain
extent with the commissioning of the Kerawalapitiya power plant.
The power project which was due to be launched early in the year was
delayed due to technical and procedural problems.
The power plant which comprises two parts, namely the open and the
combine cycle plants will be operated by Lakdanavi (Pvt) Ltd. of Lanka
Transformers Ltd., a subsidiary of the CEB. The CEB will purchase power
from the private operator.
The agreement to purchase power was signed between the CEB and the
company early last year. The Open Cycle Plant will initially generate
200MW to the national grid.
The company uses sulphur furnace oil (heavy diesel) recommended by
the Central Environment Authority (CEA). A request to use normal furnace
oil which is economical has not yet been approved by the CEA.
Nuclear power is the cheapest source of energy though controversies
exist around the use of it in the world. Coal power would be the next
best and cheapest option which the country should consider without
The Norochcholai coal power plant is scheduled to be commissioned by
The contribution by hydro power plants to the national energy
requirement cannot be undermined.
The government should encourage more private hydro power operators to
set up projects”, the sources said.
The annual energy requirement has increased with the growth in
population and despite rural electrification programs many villages yet
do not have electricity.
Alternative energy sources such as bio-fuel, dendro, wind and solar
power have been recommended but there is no national plan to develop the
The CEB has come under growing criticism for incurring massive losses
due to corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency.
The CEB’s daily loss is staggering and the board revised electricity
tariffs recently in keeping with the rising fuel prices. Adding to the
woes of the country’s power crisis several Trade Unions representing the
public sector have decided to launch an islandwide strike on July 10
demanding a pay hike of Rs. 5,000 per employee.
The Unions are determined to go ahead with the strike despite a
pledge by President Mahinda Rajapaksa to grant an all-round allowance of