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* China to ensure efficient functioning of Sri Lanka's problem-plagued coal power plant
Sun, Aug 31, 2014, 12:17 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 31, Colombo: During the upcoming Chinese President xi Jinping's visit to Sri Lanka, the two countries will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure trouble-free, smooth functioning of the China-funded Lakvijaya coal power plant at Norochcholai.

Sri Lanka's first ever coal power plant built in three stages at a cost of US$ 1.35 billion of Chinese credit is plagued with frequent malfunctions.

President Xi, during his two-day visit to Sri Lanka from September 16, is scheduled to join Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to commission the last phase of the power plant which will add another 300 MW to the national grid. The first two stages of the plant add 300 MW each to the national grid.

During the Chinese President's visit, the first of two Memorandums of Understanding will be signed between the Ministry of Power and Energy and China's Ministry of Commerce to maintain the Lakvijaya plant without future technical failures, according to report in the Sunday Times today.

Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi, who has reportedly received the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers to sign the MoU, has declared that China will play a larger role in ensuring that there will not be "any future technical failures."

According to Sunday Times report, the assurance "to provide technical cooperation for stable, efficient functioning of the Norochcholai Coal Power Project," will be three years with provision for extension.

The funding for the Lakvijaya coal power project was provided by the EXIM Bank of China on a long term low interest rate to the Sri Lankan Government.

** Related Story :: Sri Lanka, China presidents to open the last phase of Norochcholai coal power plant

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