President opens Upper Kotmale power project todayJuly 13, 2012, 10:08 pm
By Steven Morrell
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will declare open the new 150MW Upper Kotmale hydropower project today at the auspicious time of 10.45 a.m. The ceremonial opening will also be attended by Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and Ambassador of Japan Nobuhito Hobo.
The construction work on the project was launched in 2006, after much delay because of protests. The protests also led to the pruning down of its capacity from 300MW to 150 MW.
Despite the protests and delays Japan stood by its commitment to fund the lion’s share of the cost and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation funded it to the tune of about 38 billion Japanese Yen (approximately Rs. 50.4 billion), while the CEB provided nearly Rs. 10 billion.
Clearly recognizing the importance of the energy sector in Sri Lanka’s socio economic development, Tokyo earlier supported many other initiatives to improve the efficiency of the energy sector of the country, including the construction of the Samanalawewa and Kukule Ganga Hydroelectric Power Projects.
A Japanese embassy media release said yesterday that "the people of Japan are extremely conscious of the harmful effects of damaging the environment, and as such, much efforts were made to design an environment friendly project with due consideration to social and economic concerns, landscape and scenic beauty. The project would eventually contribute to enhancing the energy supply and in the long-term facilitate economic development. Special efforts were made to ensure the well-being of those displaced due to the project, where housing with all basic amenities and other facilities such as schools, places of worship, administrative buildings, roads etc were constructed as part of the project.
"With Sri Lanka been upgraded into a middle income country, adequate energy supply is a pre-requisite for accelerating industrialization and development. It is the ardent hope of the people of Japan that the project will be put to its best use and contributes to enhancing the lives of the people of Sri Lanka."
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Last Updated Jun 19 2013 | 12:00 pm