The Cabinet had given conditional approval to begin constructions for much delayed 300MWs Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant to Lakdhanavi Ltd. to start constructions immediately after settling the litigation out, Power, Energy and Commuter Transport Management Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.
When tenders were called in 2016 to construct the first-ever LNG plant in the country, two companies Lakdhanavi, with a majority shareholding by Lanka Transformers Limited (LTL) and Wind Force Ltd with mother company in China, had been shortlisted by the Cabinet Appointed Tender Board and the tender was given to Wind Force, ignoring the low unit cost quoted by Lakdhanavi.
When several appeals by Lakdhanavi to the government fell wayside, the local company challenged the tender offered to Wind Force Ltd.
“The delay in the construction of the Kerawalapitiya LNG power plant has created a power crisis. Our aim is to start constructions in March and commission the plant in 2023. The bureaucratic red tape contributed much to delay the LNG power plant project,” Minister Amaraweera stressed.
He added that though the demand for power increased by 17% in the last five years, the increase of power generation was at a poor 2%. This has made a power crisis in the country.
A unit of power generated by the proposed Kerawalapitiya 300MWs power plant would be about Rs. 15. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)