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Phase II and III of Norochcholai coal power plant:

CEB and CMEC sign agreement

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) signed an agreement yesterday with the China National Machinery and Equipment Import and Export Corporation (CMEC) for phase II and III of the Norochcholai coal power plant.

The total capacity of the power plant will be 900 MW. Phase II and III of the coal power plant will generate 300 megawatts of electricity in each phase. Phase I is still under construction. The total investment of phase II and III is US$ 891 million. The Norochcholai coal power plant is expected to be completed by 2013, a spokesman for the CEB told Daily News Business.

The contract was awarded to CMEC, a Chinese Government owned company. The 900 MW plant will be constructed under the Puttalam coal power plant at Norochcholai in the Puttalam district. The main objective of the project is to cater to the increasing demand for electricity and also to supply steady and low cost electricity to the national grid. With the completion of the Norochcholai coal plant the Rs.11 per unit will be reduced to Rs.5 per unit.

Due to the rapid growth in several industries and the accelerated efforts in electrification the growth in a particular year may increase.

The demand and supply gap needs to be filled accordingly. The CEB said the growth of electricity demand will increase by 10 percent annually.

The Norochcholai coal power plant is a lead project of the Government to enhance economic growth, poverty reduction and ensure balanced regional development through the cost effective power sector development.

Compared to hydro and thermal power generating sources, coal is the most economical and feasible power supply. As hydro dependability is threatened by drought and silt and thermal is an expensive source, coal is cheaper and more widely available.

The successful completion of the project will enhance the capacity of the national grid in Sri Lanka.

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