Norochcholai coal power project to be opened in
Power at Rs. 8.04 a unit from next year - Minister Patali Champika
The Norochcholai power plant
The Power and Energy Ministry has drawn up a special plan to install
more coal power plants rather than construct high cost diesel power
plants with the objective of providing electricity at cheap rates to the
4.3 million consumers in the country.
The dream of generating electricity from coal power has come true.
The idea of constructing a coal power plant in the country came two
decades ago. Unlike thermal power plants, coal power plants cannot be
constructed everywhere in the country.
A coal power plant should be constructed in close proximity to the
coastal belt. Government officials, CEB engineers and foreign experts
selected Norochcholai in the Puttalam District as the best location to
construct the country's first coal power plant.
Norochcholai is located over 80 kms away from the city of Colombo.
When our officials first visited the area, residents protested its
construction but ultimately with the intervention of ministers and CEB
officials residents agreed to its construction as it was a national
The CEB had to demolish some houses which were not properly
constructed - houses with cadjan roofs and wattle and daub houses.
VIPs being conducted to the
Residents who were evacuated from the site for the construction of
the plant were happy to have their new houses that were perfectly
constructed. In addition they were also paid compensation.
The first phase of the 300 MW Norochcholai power plant commenced last
week. The boiler firing took place at the auspicious time under the
patronage of the Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka,
Petroleum Resources Minister Susil Premajayantha, Public Administration
Minister W.D.J. Seneviratna,Minister Consular, People's Republic of
China, Ugin-Sue with the blessings of the Sanga and other religious
dignitaries. Chinese engineers, labourers and officials were present.
The ministers also planted several trees at the site to mark the
The CEB spends Rs. 17.51 for a unit of electricity, but consumers pay
only Rs. 13 and the CEB loses Rs. four per unit.
Governor, North Western Province Tissa Balalle lights the oil
|Minister W D J Seneviratne
commissions the power plant
Coal being unloaded at the jetty
The Minister said that the CEB has planned to give an electricity
unit at Rs. 8.04 from next year.
The country exports high quality coal for use of developing countries
like Australia and Japan.
Minister W.D.J. Seneviratna said that at present only 85 percent
households in the country receive electricity. All Sri Lankans will be
given electricity from next year.
In addition another coal power plant will be constructed at Sampur in
Trincomalee. The Norochcholai power plant is constructed at a cost of
455 million US dollars by the People's Republic of China.
The MoU to construct the plant was signed in 2005 by the then
Minister Susil Premajayantha.
Nearly 900 Chinese workers including engineers, helpers, welders and
fitters work round the clock at the site, while a few Sri Lankan
engineers assist them as consultants. Sri Lankan labourers too work in
A new power line with 288 towers have also been installed at a cost
of $70 million from Norochcholai power house to the Veyangoda Grid sub
station to distribute power to a large area.
The `Roofing Ceremony' of the Norochcholai power plant, which was the
final official event before the opening, according to Chinese tradition
was held on August 20 under the patronage of former Power and Energy
Minister W.D.J. Seneviratne.
Minister Premajayantha said the country annually spends a colossal
sum of foreign exchange on diesel and other lubricants to activate
thermal power plants. Norochcholai will help the CEB to reduce this. Sri
Lanka's second coal power plant, which has the capacity to generate
1,000 MWs is under construction at Sampur in collaboration with the
Under the first phase of this project 500 MWs will be generated and
500 MWs will be generated under the second phase.
The construction work of the Upper Kotmale plant will be completed
during the early part of next year.
After the completion of the four major power projects at Norochcholai,
Sampur, Upper Kotmale and Kerawalapitiya, Sri Lanka will never face any
power shortages, he said. As the initial step to rural electrification,
the CEB has planned to install power houses in several rural areas in
the Southern and Sabaragamuwa Provinces for the benefit of a large
number of low income families. The CEB has also decided to install mini
hydro power stations in the Sabaragamuwa Province, Moneragala District
and the Uma Oya areas to generate 35 MWs, 45 MWs and 100 MWs