Indian, Lankan officials to hold crucial meeting on Sampur project

SampurEven as India’s coal-fired thermal power project in Sampur of the Eastern Province is facing opposition on environmental grounds, top officials of both the countries in charge of the project are to meet to discuss on the future course of action.

Confirming that the Trincomalee Power Company Limited (TPCL) will be conducting a meeting of its Board of Directors, Anura Wijayapala, Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board and also the chief of the TPCL, a special purpose vehicle floated by the CEB and the NTPC of India for the project, told The Hindu that “at present, we are finalising tender documents. The Board will decide when the bids can be floated.” The fencing of the project site was underway.

Referring to statements made by some politicians against the project, Wijayapala, however, said “The CEB is for the project. My Cabinet Minister and Deputy Minister are for it.”

Briefing select journalists of the status of the work of a high-level committee constituted by President Maithripala Sirisena in March this year in the light of a series of power cuts in the country, Eran Wickramaratne, Deputy Minister of the Public Enterprises Department and a member of the panel, said even as the committee was still holding deliberations and it had six more weeks to go for submitting its final report, the country’s direction would be towards clean energy.

Pointing out that “considerable amount of work” had been done with regard to some coal power projects, Wickramaratne said “I won’t be quick to say ‘cancel them,’ while I am all for clean energy.” Calling for the execution of the proposed coal power projects, the Deputy Minster said “Sri Lankans have a living standard in which power continuation is taken for granted. We can’t afford to risk that.” He added that in the next few weeks, tenders would be invited for clean energy projects. (Colombo Gazette)


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