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India accused of delaying Sampur coal power plant

 

since the two countries entered into an MOU on the matter in 2005, has yet to get off the ground as the Indians continue to demand some changes in the power purchase agreement

India accused of delaying Sampur coal power plant

 

 
The joint venture deal, to build a 500 MW coal-fired power plant at Sampur in Trincomalee, between the CEB and the National Thermal Power Corporation of India, though signed in September last year, after much haggling, since the two countries entered into an MOU on the matter in 2005, has yet to get off the ground as the Indians continue to demand some changes in the power purchase agreement, according to power sector sources.
 
As a result, Sri Lanka could be heading for a major power shortage in 2016, forcing it to go for power cuts, which would also be ominous for the government as it would have to face the next general election that year.
 
CEB insiders said if it agreed to change a digit or two the board would have to suffer losses to the tune of billions of rupees over the years. Therefore, it would be difficult to agree to India’s latest demand.
 
The CEB website has already announced that the Sampoor project started in September 2011 and it would be completed by July 2016.
 
Though the CEB will get an additional 600MW from the Norochcholai coal power plant, when it commissions its second and third stages by 2014, all that power would be needed to meet the growing demand and offset the retiring of the costly oil fired power plants, on which it is now heavily relying on.
 
Chairman of the CEB Prof. Wimaladharma Abeywickreme said that they were hopeful of getting the Sampur project off the ground soon, especially since the NTPC had recently completed its feasibility study. The CEB on its part has already completed ground preparations, including the fencing of the property along with relevant surveys.
 
(Island)
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