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Sampur coal power plant on track; prolonged land issues cleared

18 January 2016 02:46 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The second coal-power plant in Sampur, which will add 500 megawatts to the national grid is on track as India’s National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) is currently working with Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) on the project, an Indian envoy in Sri Lanka said.  

The project has been dragging on for 10 years without making much progress after signing the agreements back in 2006. The latest in the series of issues which the project was believed to have been held up was the clearance of land earmarked for the project in Sampur, Trincomalee. 

“Our NTPC is working now with the Ceylon Electricity Board to set up the second coal power plant here,” said the Deputy High Commissioner of India in Sri Lanka, Arindam Bagchi. 

Speaking at an event to promote the 12th edition of ‘Elecrama 2016,’ the world’s largest power transmission and distribution exposition, Bagchi further said India was looking at deeper economic co-oporetion with Sri Lanka going beyond exports and imports. 

“I think we are now moving into investments, we are now talking about integrating into supply chains and value chains,” he said. 

Therefore, he said, the upcoming trade-show which would see as many as 1, 200 exhibitors from 120 countries with over 110,000 footfalls, would provide an ideal platform for the Sri Lankan companies to build links with Indian counterparts.  

Both governments are now set to sign an upgrade to the existing FTA— Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement (ETCA)—by mid-2016 with the exclusion of professional labour liberalization by Sri Lanka except in shipbuilding and Information Technology. 

The estimated US $ 512 million Sampur coal power project will comprise two 250 megawatt power generators and will be funded jointly by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Indian government and the CEB.  “Land matter is now solved,” said CEB Chairman, Anura Wijeyapala. 

However, it is unlikely the project could meet its original commission date set for late 2017. 

According to senior engineers, any delays in the project could lead to a loss of Rs.50 billion annually to generate power from other sources – costly gas turbines, diesel plants etc. 

Elecrama 2016 is organized by the Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA) – the apex industry association of over 800 companies which are in to power generation, transmission and distribution equipment covering the entire value power and energy value chain.  
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