Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 16 August 2009





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Government Gazette

With 300 mw from Norochcholai:

Coal power to dazzle nation

Norochcholai coal power plant Pix: Sarath Weerasinghe

Our prime objective is to provide electricity at a low cost to over four million consumers in the country and accordingly we have decided to construct more coal power plants, in addition to the major coal power plants at Norochcholai and Trincomalee, said CEB, Chairman E.A.S.K. Edirisinghe.

The commissioning of Sri Lanka's first coal power plant at Norochcholai, in the Puttalam District is soothing news to electricity consumers.

The plant is constructed at a cost of US dollars 455 million

by CMEC a major construction firm of the People's Republic of China, and power distribution will commence from March next year.

During a recent inspection tour, organised by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to the Norochcholai construction site, it was observed that 75 per cent of the first phase of this mega project has now been completed.

Construction work commenced in May, 2006.

CEB and Chinese officials at a discussion

Phase one will be completed before end of this year and the CEB is expected to generate 300 MW and another 600 MW will also be generated from the second and third phases which will be completed by 2013.

A 900 strong Chinese workforce including engineers, helpers, welders and fitters are working round the clock at the site, while a few Sri Lankan engineers too assist them with consultancy.

The CMEC Project Engineer said the construction of the power house has already been completed and it will be covered with a roof. According to Chinese traditions, the `Roofing Ceremony' will be held on a grand scale on August 20 under the patronage of Power and Energy Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne.

The ceremony will also be attended by a Chinese Buddhist delegation along with Buddhist Monks from Malwatta, Asgiriya, Amarapura and Ramanna Chapters.

In addition, Parliamentarians including Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and Religious Affairs Minister Pandu Bandaranayake, several Chinese political leaders and diplomatic officials from both countries will also attend the `Roofing Ceremony'.

Planting a Bo-Sapling, brought from Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi, Anuradhapura and the installation of a replica of Buddha Statue from the Shaolin Temple in China will also take place to coincide with the ceremony.

At a media briefing in Norochcholai, CEB Chairman E.A.S.K. Edirisinghe said that generating electricity from coal power is very much cheaper than thermal power.

Women Chinese workers gearing for ‘roofing ceremony’?

He said the country annually spends a colossal sum of foreign exchange on diesel and other lubricants for thermal power plants and the CEB has already informed the Power and Energy Ministry on the importance of converting thermal power plants into coal power.

According to the CEB Chairman, Sri Lanka's second coal power plant being constructed at Trincomalee in collaboration with India has the capacity to generate 1000 MW and is now in progress.

The CEB, Chairman also assured that electricity consumers will not experience any black-outs in future, especially with the commissioning of more coal power plants in the country.

Coal for the Norochcholai plant will be imported from three countries under the supervision of Lanka Coal Company (LCC). The LCC will be assisted by the CEB, the Shipping Corporation and the Sri Lanka Ports Authority.

Working round the clock

Asked about the series of objections raised by the residents in Norochcholai against the construction of the power plant, the CEB, Chairman said a house to house campaign undertaken to educate the residents on the importance of electricity in the next ten years was very successful and the construction work was finally begun with their blessings.

The affected families received compensation to buy lands and construct new houses with all facilities. In addition, special compensation was also paid for their lost agricultural lands, coconut trees etc.

The CEB also provided them with new roads and bus services.

He also recalled the objections raised by residents in the Upper Kotamale area, but the CEB was able to handle it in a proper manner.

The construction of the Upper Kotmale power plant will be completed next year.

Project Manager (Transmission Lines), R.K. Piyadasa said a new power line with 288 towers will be installed at a cost of US dollars

70 million from Norochcholai power house to the Veyangoda Grid sub station to distribute power to other areas. Project Director (Electrical) P.C.C. Perera said a 14 km road would also be constructed from the work site to Palaviya for the use of residents.



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