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North gets integrated to national power grid after 25 years

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 24 September 2012 00:00

By Devin Jayasundera

Under the Uthuru Vashanthaya development project the Electrification of the Jaffna Peninsula is on fast track with the opening of the Kilinochchi High Powered Transmission line and the grid substation which is to be declared by President Mahinda Rajapaksa tomorrow.

The project, completed in a span of two years, will help stabilise the electricity supply of Jaffna which consists of 121,000 electricity consumers.

According Ministry of Power and Energy reports, the total project cost amounts to Rs. 3220 billion. The project is funded through a low interest loan obtained from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The second stage of the project is the construction of the 132 KW Kilinochchi-Chunnakam High power line and 24MW Chunnakam power plant, to be completed by mid next year.

With the establishment of the 24MW Chunnakam thermal power plant the existing 40% of the coverage of electricity in the area is to increase to 95%, professed a ministry official. The power plant is to commence operations in the next five months and with that the privately owned Agrico and Northern power plant which supplied to the electricity to the area is to withdraw its operations.

A ministry official stated that with the full effect in stabilising the electricity supply of Jaffna the Electricity Board would be able to reduce the existing loss from Rs. 2800 million to Rs. 1500 million.  He added that this is possible with the reduction of the unit cost from Rs. 38 to Rs. 16.

The electricity supply of Jaffna was dismantled by the LTTE during the ‘Operation Pawan’ of the Indian Peace keeping force in 1987. From there onwards the rehabilitation of the Electricity Supply was stalled due to the interferences of the LTTE and thus all effort to connect it to the National Power Grid failed. This is the first time in 25 years the nation’s all electricity power lines are connected to the national grid.

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