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Leading News from Sri Lanka::

* Sri Lanka President launches second phase of Norochcholai Coal Power Plant
Thu, Mar 18, 2010, 07:56 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 18, Norochcholai: Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa this morning inaugurated the second phase of the of the Norochcholai coal power plant with the participation of the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Ms. Yang Xiuping.

The power plant, constructed in Norochcholai, a coastal fishing village 120 km north from Colombo along the wet coast, will have an ultimate capacity of 900 megawatts of electricity when it is completely developed.

The first stage generates 300 megawatts to the national grid while the second phase will generate 600 megawatts. Cost for the second phase is estimated at US$ 891 million. The first phase of Norochcholai Coal Power Plant was inaugurated by President Rajapaksa on 11th May 2006.

The construction of the third stage is to begin in 2012 and is to be completed in 2013. It is expected to deliver a steady and low cost energy output of 1658 giga watt hours annually to the consumers when completed. The construction of the three phases of the project is to cost US$ 1.35 billion, Ministry of Energy sources say.

Speaking to the media at the occasion, Minister of Power and Energy W. D. J. Senaviratne said the government aims to provide electricity to all by the year 2012.

Currently the government meets only 82 percent of the country's total energy requirement.

The Minister said the Norochcholai power plant will provide a sustainable solution to the country's ever increasing energy needs and the charges for generating power will certainly decrease with this project.

Financial aid for the project is provided by the Exim Bank of China. The construction is carried out by the China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation (CMEC). The Chinese have agreed to carryout the project on a Design, Build and Transfer (DBT) basis.

Ministers Milroy Peiris and Niyomal Perera, and the Vice President of CMEC Hang Gang also participated in the occasion.

(Pictures by Sudath Silva)

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