President Mahinda Rajapaksa accompanied by the visiting Deputy Prime Minister of Japan Katsuya Okada declared open the Upper Kotmale hydropower project yesterday.
The President and the Japanese Deputy Prime Minister opened the sluice gate of the main dam of the power station and released water to the Kotmale Oya. President Rajapaksa unveiled the plaque of the project and strewed Jasmine flowers to the reservoir. Afterwards the President also opened the 2nd and 3rd sluice gates.
Later the President and the Japanese envoy inspected the country's last mass scale hydropower project constructed at a cost of US$ 475 million with the assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The project officials informed the President that 96 percent of the construction work of the project including the Installing of generators and constructing power lines is completed at present.
The Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Project is a run of river hydropower project with an installed capacity of 150MW consisting of two 75MW units.
A 180-meter long and 355-meter high bund was constructed across the Kotmale Oya to make the Upper Kotmale reservoir.
The 65-acre reservoir that has a capacity of 800,000 cubic meters opens to a 13-kilometer tunnel that takes water to the two underground 75 MW generators. The first generator was activated last January and the second will generate electricity by next month.
When completed, the power station will produce 409GWh per year. The project is implemented by the Ceylon Electricity Board under the supervision of the Ministry of Power and Energy.
Power and Energy Minister PataliChampikaRanawaka, Ministers Susil Premajayantha, Navin Dissanayake, C.B. Rathnayaka and Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Deputy Minister Premalal Gunasekera, Japanese Ambassador Nobuhito Hobo and Sri Lankan Ambassador to Japan Admiral (Retd) Wasantha Karannagoda also accompanied the President.