Wednesday, 30 July 2003  
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US grant for development of 300 MW power plant in Lanka

Colombo, July 29 - The US Government has awarded a $560,000 grant to the Government of Sri Lanka to fund a technical assistance programme for providing consultancy services on the development of a 300 MW coal fired power plant. The award was announced today by US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA). James F. Entwisel, Charge d'Affaires at the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, signed the agreement conferring the grant on behalf of the US Government. Charitha Ratwatte, Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, signed on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka.

A US embassy press release said Sri Lanka has experienced extended periods of power blackouts due to the inadequate power generation capacity.

Although the country's installed generating capacity is substantially higher than peak power demands, it has been unable to keep up with the growing need for electricity. This is largely due to low rainfall levels during recent monsoon seasons. Sri Lanka is vulnerable to power shortages because its power system is based largely on hydroelectric generation. The Energy Supply Committee (ESC) is a special body established in March 2002 by an Act of Parliament to ensure adequate supplies of electrical energy, petroleum and other energy requirements, and also to regulate the activities of the electricity and petroleum sectors. If implemented, the proposed power plant will be the first coal fired power plant in Sri Lanka. It will be developed on a "Build, Operate and Own" (BOO) basis. The USTDA-funded technical assistance will provide the ESC with a preliminary site evaluation, a plant design, and recommendations on the solicitation and award of a long-term power supply contract for the plant.

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