Japan agrees to build enhanced power transmission lines

By Ifham Nizam

Sri Lanka’s power authorities should not miss the opportunity to get further 200MW from the proposed second coal fired power complex in Sampur, Trincomlaee, a senior engineer said as the Japanese would build a transmission line capable of carrying an enhanced power load from there.

He told The Island that on a request by the Treasury, the Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA) agreed to build a 400KV line instead of the usual 220 KV from Sampur to Veyangoda via Habarana.

The engineer pointed out that the 400KV line had been designed for 1200MW for the Sampur power complex. "So there is no point in starting off with 2×250MW plants when it could easily carry power from 2×300MW plants and, above all, the cost factor should be taken into consideration" he added.

He also said that Sri Lanka should have gone for 400KV 15 years back. Bangladesh and Nepal were already using the technology, he added.

Several CEB engineers, we contacted, said that they had strongly recommended for 300MW plants for Sampur. It would allow all the top firms to bid and, in case if it was a 250MW, there was a 99 per cent chance of it going to India, whereas when it came to 300MW plants, India’s chances of getting it was less than 10 per cent, they stressed.

Meanwhile, CEB officials said that the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India, the Indian partner of the project would not mind, the engineers’ latest move. "They are the best in India and would agree with the technology experts though some would say it would hamper the bilateral relationships with the neighbouring," the official said.

The Island reliably learns the NTPC would go for a Japanese company as the plant supplier.

Meanwhile, engineers said that despite their strong recommendation for two 300MW plants instead of the earlier proposed two plants of 250MWx2, the top management was yet to discuss the revised plan with the Indian partner.

Some engineers stressed that earlier India had been well known for its 250MW plants, but other countries had opted for 300MW plants.

Meanwhile, senior official said plans were still underway to have Indian equipment at the country’s proposed second coal-fired power complex in Sampur, Trincomalee in contravention of earlier terms and conditions which stipulated international open bidding.

CEB Chairman, W. B. Ganegala said the project would commence before the end of this year.

The CEB was still in the process of looking at specifications which would be scrutinised by engineers when the documents were ready, he said.

The Joint Venture Company was incorporated as Trincomalee Power Company Limited on September 6, 2011.


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