President to inaugurate linking of Chunnakam sub station to national grid


By Ifham Nizam

President Mahinda Rajapaksa will inaugurate the linking of the newly built Chunnakam Sub Station, in Jaffna, to the national grid today. The transmission line which was earlier the bridge between the North and South was destroyed by the LTTE 20 years ago.

Sources said President Rajapaksa was keen on inspecting all functions in the control room after he inaugurates the project.

The Sub Station will add 63MW of power though Jaffna’s need remains at some 40MW. The surplus could be passed on to areas nearby, Power and Energy Ministry Media Secretary Sisira Wijesinghe said.

Constructed at a cost of Rs. 1,800 million, the Sub Station would provide power to more than 120,000 houses, Wijesinghe said.  

The project would be commissioned at 2.30 p.m.

Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa, Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi are among those scheduled grace the occasion.

The Ceylon Electricity Board’s 132 kV high voltage grid was reconnected with the Jaffna Peninsula on August 19, after 26 years of isolated operation.

The 67-kilometre-long transmission line, from Kilinochchi to Chunnakam, had connected the newly built 63 MV Chunnakam Grid Substation with the Kilinochchi Grid Substation, for commissioning tests before commercial operations begin tomorrow.

The 24 MW Uthuru Janani Power Plant owned by CEB and 18 MW privately owned Northern Power Plant, would be connected to the single grid network of the country.

According to CEB officials, two decades ago the Laxapana Power Station supplied electricity to the Jaffna Peninsula. However, the process was halted in the early nineties due to the intensification of terrorist activities.

Power and Energy Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi said that it was very essential to have an uninterrupted power supply to uplift the livelihoods of the Jaffna citizens.

She said that with that aim, the project had become one of the main concerns of the government.

The electricity to be distributed through the Chunnakam Sub Station would be transmitted to the main sub grid of Jaffna and through the Kilinochchi-Chunnakam transmission line electricity would also be taken to Kilinochchi.

The Ministry of Power and Energy forecasts that the existing coverage in the Jaffna Peninsula will increase to 100 per cent.

The Kilinochchi Grid Substation was earlier connected to the 132 kV high voltage Grid in September 2012.

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