Govt. to review LNG power plant

Tuesday, 3 December 2019 02:25 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

  • New Power and Energy Minister calls for comprehensive report on plant that received Cabinet approval in Feb.  
  • Says will hold discussions on Thursday
  • Open to reissuing tender if due process has not been followed  

By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya

The Government has decided to review the Kerawalapitiya LNG plant with the new Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera calling for a comprehensive report on the matter yesterday. 

A decision will be taken regarding the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) power plant tender following the submission of a comprehensive report, Passenger Transport, Power, and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said.

While the Minister has requested for a report that will look into delays in the LNG power plant project as well as the issuing of the tender to a foreign company, a decision will be made depending on its contents. “We will look into if the tender can be reissued to a local company,” he said.

“LTL Holdings, which is a subsidiary of Ceylon Electricity Board, was the lowest bidder. However, the tender was issued to a Chinese-owned company,” Amaraweera explained, adding that the LNG project was proposed in 2016 and should have been completed by now.

While discussions on the report are to be held on Thursday, the Passenger Transport, Power and Energy Ministry, in a statement issued yesterday, said the country incurred a loss of over Rs. 90 billion due to this deal.

The statement added the tender was issued to a Chinese-owned company despite a local company offering the lowest bid. This was in accordance to the bidding of certain Ministry officials, the statement charged. 

In February Cabinet gave approval for Consortium of GCL China Windforce and RenewGen to set up a 300 MW LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya. It was to be one of two LNG power plants approved through a Cabinet paper presented by former Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake. 

They were to be the first plant to be constructed after the Lakvijaya Coal Plant in Norochcholai was completed almost a decade ago. The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has not been able to commission any new power plants included in their Long Term Generation plants since 2013.