Sri Lanka would be self-sufficient in energy by 2020, according to Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka.
“Just like how we are self-sufficient in rice, we will become self-sufficient in energy,” he claimed.
However, this January alone, Rs. 50 million worth of rice was imported, according to Central Bank statistics.
Ranawaka said that self-sufficiency will be achieved by tapping into the two discovered off-shore wells in the Mannar Basin.
He said the diesel-based Kelanitissa and gas-powered Kerawalapitiya power plants will be converted to combust liquid natural gas extracted from the two wells.
However, more importantly, all vehicles would have to be re-engineered to accommodate LNG fuel instead of the current crude derived petrol and diesel engines.
Ranawaka recently also claimed that 20 percent of the country’s power generation would be composed of renewable energy such as hydro, mini-hydro, wind and solar by 2020, and would convert to 100 percent by 2030.
Oil currently generates a major segment of the country’s electricity at a cost of Rs. 30 per unit, in addition to its uses in transportation. However, coal, which costs Rs. 7 per unit to produce, is fast
Coal is expected to cater to just over 40 percent of the country’s power need by 2017 with the commissioning of the Sampur Coal Power Plant. Further, the proposed Japanese clean coal power plant in Sampur is also reported to have given the nod, with tenders to be called in May.