Horana power plant ready before year end

By Ifham Nizam

The 20 mega watt (mw) Horana power plant whose major stakeholder is Aitken Spence Co., Ltd will be operable by the end of the year, said Aitken Spence Chairman Prema Cooray on Monday.

The plant which was originally to be located at Anuradhapura had to be abandoned due to protests by certain environment and religious groups who feared that the fumes emanating from the plant would cause damage to the Sri Maha Bodhiya.

This resulted in the change of location of the plant from Anuradhapura to Horana. Meanwhile the necessary amendments to the loan and security documents in connection with the syndicated agreement to incorporate the relocation of the power plant took place on Monday.

Speaking further, Cooray said that the other power plant located at Matara took three years to be installed and commissioned.

This plant began functioning last month and supplies 20 MW to the grid. "The Anuradhapura project too should have been commissioned simultaneously but unfortunately due to various reasons, we had to relocate this plant at Horana," said Cooray.

HNB Deputy General Manager D. N. Daluwatte said that the total amount of the syndicated loan for the Horana project is US$ 11.50 million plus Rs. 178 million.

Participants in the debt component are HNB (US$ 5 m), Commercial Bank ($ 2 m), People’s Bank ($ 1.5 m), Bank of Ceylon ($ 1.25m), HSBC ($125 m), Pan Asia Bank ($ 500,000) and DFCC Bank Rs. 178 million.

The project itself has four partners — project promoters, Aitken Spence & Co., Ltd (51%), Commonwealth Development Corporation (29%), Equipment Manufacturer Wartsila Finland (10%) and Banaras House, India (10%).

Daluwatte said that the scheduled date of commissioning of the power plant is 11 months from the handing over of the site to the Equipment, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor. This site was handed over last September.