The cause for the recent power disruptions was due to the delay in launching the Uma Oya Hydropower project, Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake said after visiting the Uma Oya Multipurpose Development Project.
He said he hoped to complete this project as soon as possible and added that once the project was completed by mid next year, another 120 megawatts of electricity would be fed to the national grid.
He said the estimated capacity of the project is 120 Mw and the expected annual energy production was 231 Gwh.
"The project consists of two small reservoirs near Puhulpola and Dyraaba linked by a tunnel. A transbasin tunnel will divert the water from Uma Oya to Kirindi Oya via the underground Power Station located at Randeniya. The power plant will be connected via a 27 Km 132 Kv transmission line to the Badulla Grid Substation. The total cost of the project is US$529 million and Rs.6 billion. The Iranian Government will provide US$450 million through the Export Development Bank of Iran as a loan," the minister said.
The contract between the Irrigation & Water Management Ministry and the Farab Energy and Water Project Company, the nominated contractor from Iran was signed on April 28, 2008, and the contract became effective in March 2010. The project was expected to be completed in June 2018. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)