The world economy suffered a massive
shock in the year 2008 as a result of global
oil prices increasing threefold. Therefore,
not much imagination is needed to predict
the magnitude of the shock when one day,
world oil supplies finally runs dry.... it
is in this background that we are seeking to
develop our own resources.
- ‘Mahinda Chintana’: Vision for
Following the defeat of the LTTE, a golden
opportunity has dawned to harness the wealth
from our resources, as never before
envisaged. President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s
vision is to make the country a regional
energy hub. To achieve this target the
Government plans to harness the country's
own oil, gas and mineral sand resources
which could be used to generate nuclear
power and is expected to double Sri Lanka's
national income in the next five years.
Mahinda Chintana: Vision for the Future,
places much importance to energy security
and energy conservation in the country. The
government has, therefore, successfully
commenced many projects related to power and
energy around the country, such as
construction of the Kerawalapitiya Combined
Cycle Power Plant project, Upper Kotmale
hydropower project, Norochcholai Coal Fired
Power Plant project, and the construction of
the Trincomalee Coal Power plant.
At present, it is estimated that 77% of Sri
Lanka's households have electricity with
grid connections whilst 3% are served by
off-grid facilities. The annual increase in
demand for electricity is around 7%-8%.
Therefore, around 200MW needs to be added to
the system annually.
Electricity generation in Sri Lanka depends
heavily on crude oil. Thus, the power
generation cost has increased. In order to
overcome this situation, low cost
electricity generating facilities, such as
coal and hydro electric power plants are
Combined Cycle Power Plant project
This power plant now stands fully
constructed, completed and full fledged.
Commercial operations have commenced since
10th May 2010.
The power plant generated 487,428,512 units
of electricity during its first stage. The
plant after commencing combined cycle
operation, has generated 455, 235,653 units
Adding another 200 MW generating capacity to
the national grid, the first stage of the
Kerawalapitiya Power Plant was opened in
December 2008 by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The construction of the second stage was
also completed within the scheduled time
period of 18 months from the completion of
the first stage. On completion of the second
stage the fully completed power plant was
dedicated to the people by President Mahinda
Rajapaksa on 25th February 2010.
The project was completed in two stages at a
cost of Rs. 35 billion. The first stage
covered site preparation, civil works
including buildings, water intake system
from nearby ocean, water desalination plant
and, installation of 2 Gas Turbines of 100
The second stage comprised the installation
of two Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSG)
and Steam Turbine of 100 MW generating
capacity and all associated electrical and
mechanical balance of plant.
The 100 MW Steam Turbine of the second stage
works on steam generated from the heat
recovered from the two gas turbines of the
first stage. Thus, no fuel needed for the
President Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 04
paid an inspection tour to the Upper
Kothmale tunnel which is considered the
longest tunnel in the country.
The construction work is done in five phases
and nearly 94 per cent of the construction
of the first phase has been completed while,
76 percent of the second phase, 79 percent
of the third phase 57 percent of the fourth
and 54 percent of the fifth phase are now
Overall 74 per cent of the project is
completed as at September 30, 2010. It is
expected to be completed by December 2011.
This project was delayed due to various
reasons under several governments until the
present government took a firm decision to
commence the project in 2006.
It is expected to add 409 GWh to the
national grid annually and help meet the
future electricity demand of the country.
The Upper Kotmale dam will be located near
Talawakele and an underground powerhouse at
Niyagammodara. These will be linked by a
tunnel. The project area covers around 540
square kms of the upstream catchment of the
Kotmale Oya. The total estimated cost of the
project is Rs. 38,219 million. The Sri
Lankan Government provided Rs 5,931 million.
This project will save foreign exchange that
is currently utilized for importing diesel
for thermal power generation.
The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) spends
approximately Rs. 16,000 million on
importing diesel for power generation. A
considerable portion of this expenditure can
be saved as a result of the Upper Kotmale
hydropower project. It is also expected to
provide direct and indirect employment and
income earning opportunities to many
unemployed persons during its construction
Fired Power Plant
Sri Lanka is expected to give a major boost
to its power sector with the completion of
the Norochcholai coal power project, of
which 95 % is completed at present.
The first phase of its construction was
completed in 2009 while the second phase of
the project, aimed at generating over 600MW
commenced with financial assistance from the
Chinese Government. China provided US$ 891
million for the commencement of second phase
and the Government allocated Rs. 11,000
million for the project.
300 MW is added to the national grid with
the completion of the first stage and 600 MW
will be added in the second stage. The
project is expected to make a significant
contribution towards meeting the country's
electricity needs by 2011.
This project aims to construct a 500 MW
power plant in Trincomalee in order to
generate electricity at a low cost.
The cost of power generation from this plant
is relatively low compared to other oil
fired power plants. Therefore, benefits can
be transferred to its consumers. Electricity
generated from this power plant can also be
utilized to meet the demands of the
The total cost of the plant is approximately
US$ 500 million. The Memorandum of Agreement
(MoA) between the Government/Ceylon
Electricity Board (CEB) and NTPC Limited
(formerly National Thermal Power
Corporation) to form the joint venture
Company has been signed on 29.12.2006.
Presently, the land acquisition process
initiated by the Urban Development Authority
(UDA) and AGA Muttur is in progress. In July
2010 the Government of India agreed to
provide a US$ 200 million loan to finance
the transmission line and the Jetty.
Survey on Sampoor New Habarana 220kV 90 Km
line is complete while the survey on New
Habarana- Veyangoda 220kV 146Km line is in
progress. The initial Environmental Studies
on New Habarana- Veyangoda line is in
progress. Obtaining land for the New
Habarana GSS from Forest Department is in
progress and the purchase of paddy lands
also for the Veyangoda GSS expansion is in
Through these projects, the government
expects to provide electricity to the entire
nation without interruption, and especially
to rural areas to uplift the living
standards of the people.
These projects will no doubt speed up the
development process as well so that all
communities, irrespective of ethnicity,
class, religion or region will reap its