An Echelon Media Company
Tuesday May 30th, 2023

Sri Lanka to call international tenders for 300MW coal plant: Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will call international tenders for a 300MegaWatt coal plant in the island’s North Western coast as an extension to an existing coal complex, State Minister for Power Mahindanda Aluthgamage said.

The plant if built would be the fourth at a Chinese-built coal power complex in Norochcholai in Sri Lanka’s Puttalam district.

People in the vicinity of the coal complex had been suffering from ash and coal dust.

The plants that were built were from China which came as Design Build Transfer projects amid a power crisis from previous delays, but the CEB had originally wanted a cleaner plant with Japanese technology.

Alutgamage said Sri Lanka would call international competitive bids for the plant coal plant.

“We want to build a clean coal plant,” Minister Aluthgamage said. “In the Middle of the German capital there is a coal plant. We want to build a similar one.”

Sri Lanka also wanted to tender for 300MW LNG plants.

Both coal and LNG plants would be in those already included in an approved long term power generation plan, he said.

In 2015, the then-administration cancelled a 500MW joint venture coal plant on which feasibility, financing and ground work has already been done, after delays of several years.

The cancellation came amid pressure from environmentalists and backers of renewable power companies.

The cancellation has led to a financial crisis at the CEB from around 2020.

A tender for a 300MW LNG capable diesel plant had also ended up in courts over a tender controversy.

The CEB is also in a capacity crisis now due to the original delay in the coal plant and the LNG capable diesel plant.

It is in a financial crisis due to high diesel operations, the collapse of a rupee soft-peg by the central bank which had pushed up costs including coal and the lack of price increases to cover the rising costs. (Colombo/Jan29/2020)


Comments (1)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Jayantha Perera says:

    Germany is shutting down coal power plants

View all comments (1)

Comments (1)

Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Jayantha Perera says:

    Germany is shutting down coal power plants

India extends under utilized $1 bln credit facility to Sri Lanka by one year 

ECONOMYNEXT – India has extended a $1 billion credit facility to Sri Lanka by another year after the loan that was given to help the crisis-hit island nation to continue import of essentials was not fully utilized in the 12 month period originally agreed, officials said.

Sri Lanka faced with a looming sovereign default signed the credit facility in March 2022 for one year through March 2024. However, the full $1 billion had not been utilized yet.

The Facility has been used for urgent procurement of fuel, medicines, food items and industrial raw materials, as per the requirements and priorities of Sri Lanka.

“The initial agreement was signed in 2022 March and out of the 1000 million US dollars allocated materials were imported for $576.75 mil,” Shehan Semasinghe, State Finance Minister said in his official twitter platform.

“The agreement is extended for the remaining $423.25 mil. We will prioritize the import of essential medicines till March 2024.”

Indian High Commission in Colombo said the State Bank of India (SBI) has extended the tenure of the $1 billion Credit Facility provided to Sri Lanka in response to a request from the Government of Sri Lanka.  (Colombo/May 30/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka President cleared to discuss cancelled LRT after soured Japan relations

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal by President Ranil Wickremesinghe discuss resuming a Japan funded. Light Rail Transit (LRT) project cabinet spokesman said, as the island nation is in the process of mending ties with Tokyo.

However, any such deals are likely to take place after the debt restructuring and Sri Lanka starts to repay its foreign loans to come out of default, analysts say.

Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa unilaterally cancelled the 1.5 billion US dollar LRT and East Container Terminal (ECT) projects in 2021. Japan agreed to fund the LRT project while it was one of the tripartite members of the ECT project along with India and Sri Lanka.

The abrupt cancellation hit the diplomatic ties between the two countries and Sri Lankan government officials have said Japan had given the project to Sri Lanka at a very lower financing cost.

President Wickremesinghe returned from Japan late last week after having met top officials of the Japanese government including its prime minister.

“In recent history, due to the stopping of several agreements and proposals suddenly, President Wickremesinghe went to Japan after creating the background to clear some of the worries we have,” Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told the weekly media briefing.

“Before he went, he got the approval from the cabinet to resume the discussion on the light railway project. He got the approval from the cabinet to get parliament approval for bilateral agreements signed or any other investments project. Any change or cancellation of a project could be done only with the approval of the parliament.”

Japan has backed Sri Lanka under Wickremesinghe’s presidency after the island nation declared sovereign debt default. (Colombo/May 30/2023)

Continue Reading

Sri Lanka to tighten grip on television with broadcast law

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has formulated a broadcast authority law to regulate electronic media which will be made public soon, Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.

“The draft prepared by a cabinet subcommittee under Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa has discussed with various parties will be given to all media institutions and broadcast media,” Gunawardana said.

“We do not have to hide or force anyone. A legal framework that can be acceptable to all for all sectors.”

“In a week or two Minister Wijedasa will discuss with state and private stakeholders.”

At the moment Sri Lanka has issued frequencies without conforming to an “international procedures”, he said.

In Sri Lanka television frequencies are issued under a state television act.

Successive administrations in Sri Lanka has since around 1980 mis-used state television duopoly which including for conducting elections according to critics.

Private television as well a raio emerged around the 1990s and has since over shadowed state media.

There have been calls by ruling party politicians from time to time to control private media. There is now calls to control social media.

At a Committee on Public Accounts meeting of the Department of Government Information, ruling coalition legislators called for regulation of television content. (Colombo/May30/2023)

Continue Reading