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* Sri Lankan President instructs to expedite Indian power plant project at Sampur
Thu, May 29, 2014, 12:05 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 28, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday has ordered officials to expedite the implementation of the Sampur Power Project to build a coal-fired power plant jointly with India.

The President had directed the attorney General and the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy to expedite the project, Press Trust of India reported quoting a statement from the President's office.

During the meeting with President Rajapaksa yesterday in New Delhi, India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussing, India's development assistance programme and economic and commercial cooperation, expressed interest in early launch of the 500 MW Sampur Coal Power project.

During India's former External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid's visit to the island last October, Sri Lanka power authority , Ceylon Electricity Board signed a MoU with India's National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) to build the 500 megawatt coal power plant in Sampur in Trincomalee.

A Joint Venture company named Trincomalee Power Company Limited (TPCL) was incorporated in Colombo in September 2011 with equal equity participation from NTPC and CEB for the US$512 million investment to set up the two 250 MW coal based power plants in Sampur.

However, the joint venture has been delayed due to disputes over several issues including the parameters that indicate the efficiency of the plant and maintenance fees.

At the signing of the deal last October it was announced that the construction was to begin within a year and the plant was to be connected to the national grid by 2018, providing cheaper electricity.

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