Sri Lanka is to establish three Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plants in the Hambantota area with Chinese, Indian and Japanese government assistance.
A proposal to this end presented by Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has been given Cabinet nod.
Accordingly, Sri Lanka will pursue to set up a 400MW LNG power plant with the collaboration of the Chinese government and a 500 MW LNG power plant each with the Japanese and Indian governments.
Sri Lanka is yet to award the tender for the 300 MW LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya.
Last week, the State-run Board of Investments said it gave approval to China Machinery Engineering to set up a US $ 500 million LNG plant near the Chinese-controlled Hambantota port and the proposed industrial zone.
Meanwhile, the government this week approved a new energy policy dumping the energy sector regulator Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka’s ‘Least Cost Long-Term Generation Expansion Plan 2018-2037.’
The State-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and PUCSL were in a tug of war regarding the country’s future energy mix with CEB engineers favouring coal-fired power plants and the PUCSL opting for LNG in the short-term and renewables in the long-term.
Sri Lanka has set itself some lofty goals to become energy self-sufficient by 2030, and is among the 43 countries of the Climate Vulnerable Forum that agreed to make their electricity generation 100 percent renewable by 2050 at the earliest.