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.
The commissioning of Sri Lanka's first coal power plant at
Norochcholai, in the Puttalam District is soothing news to electricity
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
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
The ceremony will also be attended by a Chinese Buddhist delegation
along with Buddhist Monks from Malwatta, Asgiriya, Amarapura and Ramanna
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
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
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
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.