Sri Lanka may shelve India backed Sampur coal power plant project

Transmission Pole 65

The Sri Lankan government is considering to shelve the proposed project to build a 500 megawatt coal powered plant in Sampur by India in favor of a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNGLiquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been converted to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state....) plant, according to a report in the state-run English weekly Sunday Observer.

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Accordingly, a delegation of the Ministry of Power and Energy will meet their Indian counterparts on Friday, May 20 to discuss the possibility of shelving the US$ 600 million project funded by India.

The Sampur coal power plant is to be built in a 500 acre land in Trincomalee district of the Eastern Province with the financial assistance from India. The thermal power plant to be built by India’s state-owned NTPCNational Thermal Power Corporation Limited, is an Indian Public Sector Undertaking, engaged in the business of generation of electricity and allied activities. It is a company incorporated under the Companies Act 1956 and a "Government Company" within the meaning of the act. The headquarters of the company is situated at New Delhi. NTPC's core business is generation and sale of... Ltd at an estimated cost of US$ 600 million will add 500 megawatts to the national grid.

However, the location of the power plant has been a concern since the internally displaced persons (IDPs), who were displaced in 2006, are yet to be resettled in Sampur.

An official at the Ministry of Power and Energy said the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CEM) has decided to conduct feasibility studies to set up Liquefied Natural Gas plants in Sampur instead of coal powered plants.

“The CEM has arrived at several decisions which include negotiating the need for a coal power plant and replacing it with a cleaner model like LNGLiquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been converted to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state....,” the official was quoted as saying.

“They have also decided to suspend all activities including tenders that have already been called,” the official added.

He said that the CEM also discussed enabling the Kerawalapitiya power plant to operate on dual fuel basis with the facility to convert to LNGLiquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been converted to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state.... when needed.

A spokesperson for the Ceylon Electricity Board, Sulakshana Jayawardena told the Sunday Observer that the crucial talks on May 20 would decide the way forward.

“Due to stiff opposition to the Sampur Power plant on social and environmental grounds, we are thinking of setting up LNGLiquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been converted to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state.... plants, but it has not been finalized as yet,” he said.

However, officials at the Trincomalee Power Company Limited (TPCL) have said that work on the proposed coal power plant was proceeding uninterrupted. “We called for tenders and will open them for bidding.”

The Sri Lankan government has recently decided to consult the Indian and Japanese governments to invest in LNGLiquefied natural gas is natural gas that has been converted to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volume of natural gas in the gaseous state.... based power plants.

Input from Sunday Observer SL

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