Norochcholai power from end December
November 19, 2010, 8:43 pm
by Ifham Nizam
The Norochcholai coal power plant will be commissioned at the end of December, Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said yesterday.
He told The Island the first phase of the Norochcholai power plant project was initially scheduled to be completed by May 2012, but a decision was taken on Wednesday to advance the commissioning to the end of next month by initially adding 300 MW to the national grid.
He said that despite the subsidised prices of fuel sold by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, the production cost of a unit of power was Rs 17.51 and it was sold to the consumers at Rs 13.00. However, by using coal power the cost of a unit would be reduced to only Rs 8.04, Ranawaka said.
According to him, Sri Lanka had incurred a loss of Rs.72 billion since 1990 as a result of buying electricity from the private sector to make up for the shortage from government owned power plants.
He said Sri Lanka had some 20 million electricity consumers with each of them paying a percentage to cover the losses.
"This is apart from what the CEB has to pay," the Minister said and added that the Norochcholai and Upper Kotmale power plants would help minimize the financial losses incurred due to power being purchased from private sector companies.
With regard to fears of the negative impact on the environment which could occur because of the use of coal, he said only a particular variety of coal, with low sulphur content and a calorific value, would be used to minimize carbon emissions.
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