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India-Lanka power link proposed

India may soon become a major energy supplier to neighbouring Sri Lanka. Power Trading Corporation (PTC) is considering laying submarine cable linking the two countries for supplying seasonal power surpluses to the neighbour.

If the project goes through, power woes of the island nation could be mitigated in the shortest possible time.

As per the plan, PTC may forge alliance with a Sri Lankan transmission company for laying the submarine cable between Madurai and northern most tip of the neighbouring country.

From this point Sri Lankan landmass is just 27 miles away. It is expected that the project could be completed in just a few months. Once commissioned, this line could transmit seasonal surpluses existing in the country which at times could not find domestic buyers.

“This is a practical network that could provide win-win situation to both the countries. It could also provide more economical link for supplying seasonal surpluses that fails to command a premium in the domestic market,” an official source said.

When contacted, PTC chairman and managing director Tantra Narayan Thakur said that Indo-Lankan submarine cable link was a practical solution that could benefit both the countries. He, however, said PTC had not firmed up any specific proposal in this regard.

Sources said PTC was expecting some communication from the Sri Lankan side to take up the matter further. Apart from feeding Sri Lankan grid with power surpluses existing in India, the submarine cable link could also be used for transmitting any power surplus existing in Sri Lanka in future to power deficit India.

Already, power generation PSU NTPC is planning to set up 500 MW power plant in collaboration with Sri Lanka Electricity Board near Trincomalee. While this would largely supply power to the island nation, future surpluses could be routed through the link back to India.

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