ECONOMYNEXT – A waste-to-energy plant being built north of Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo has been delayed due to Coronavirus travel restriction which had blocked the arrival of specialists from China, a minister said.
“There was a delay in the waste-to-energy power plant being built in Muthurajawela,” Power Minister Mahinda Amaraweera told reporters.
“Due to the situation, there was a delay in the arrival of persons from China involved in building this plant.”
Western Power Company, promoted by Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence has been denied visas to bring in Chinese experts needed for the project after the airports closed in March.
SriLankan Airlines has since started to fly to Hong Kong.
Sri Lanka is ahead of many countries in curbing the spread of Coronavirus, including Singapore and Korea, and is perhaps behind only a few countries like Vietnam observers say.
But Sri Lanka had to impose strict curfews because doctors were initially reluctant to test persons outside hospital including close contacts and high risk persons.
Sri Lanka is now allowing citizens stranded overseas to come home.
Vietnam, the global leader in the fight against Coronavirus, also allowed vital foreign experts to come in as soon as domestic cases ceased and quarantine capacity was released to bring in overseas Vietnamese and students, observers familiar with the country said.
Meanwhile Minister Amaraweera said attempts were being made to remove obstacles to bringing in needed staff.
“We are going to give those facilities and in a few months it will be complete,” Minister Amaraweera said.
“We hope to have it complete it by the end of the year.”
Western Power Company would process 600 to 800 tonnes of municipal waste per day. The Ceylon Electricity Board will buy power for a price in excess of 30 rupees a unit.
Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank syndicated a 9.0 billion rupee credit facility for the plant. (Colombo/June09/2020)