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* President launches operations at new Kerawalapitiya Power Plant in Sri Lanka
Thu, Feb 25, 2010, 08:36 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa ceremoniously opened the final stage of Kerawalapitiya Combined Cycle Thermal Power Plant today adding another 100 mega watts of power to the national grid.

The first phase of the project added 200 mega watts of power to the national grid. The combined capacity of the facility will now provide 300 mw of electricity to the national grid.

The Kerawalapitiya Power Plant constructed in a suburb of capital Colombo was completed within two years. It was built by a local company at a cost of USD 309 million.

The power generation at the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant is by a combined cycle system fueled by natural gas and costs much less than the average thermal power plants that burn large quantities of oil for power generation.

The project is one of President Rajapaksa's important goals under the Mahinda Chinthana to make the country energy-sufficient in the future.

Electricity demand in Sri Lanka is growing at 8% annually and the Ceylon Electricity Board hopes to meet this demand with the assistance of the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant.

Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne, Fisheries Minster Felix Perera, Senior Advisor to the President Basil Rajapaksa, Minister Sarath Gunarathna, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy M.M.C. Fernandez also participated in the occasion.

(Pictures by Nalin Hewapathirana)

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