Sri Lanka coal plant for international tender; may start in June: minister

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – An India, Sri Lanka joint venture 500 MegaWatt coal power plant may begin construction by mid this year after environmental clearance is received with international tenders being called for the generators, a minister said.

Power Minister Patali Ranawaka said the key sticking point involving the procurement of the most efficient power plants (with the best heat rate) has been cleared with the Indian partners agreeing to go for international tenders for procurement.

"When you go for international bidding you can get the maximum efficiency," Minister Ranawaka told the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo.

"That is how we by passed the technical impediment. We are now addressing other issues. Financial – especially the interest rate – and also environmental issues.

Minister Ranawaka said an environmental impact assessment (EIA) on the power station, which is to be built in Sampur, on a bank of a bay in Trincomallee in northeastern Sri Lanka has been completed and was available for public comment.

If all goes well, the physical construction could begin by May or June 2015, he said.

The plant is a joint ventre between India’s NTPC and Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board. Both are state-run.

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