Mahinda switches on north with new power plant

Monday, 16 September 2013 00:23 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Saturday declared open the new thermal power plant built in the Northern Province connecting the Jaffna peninsula to the National Grid. The President inaugurated the Chunnakam Grid Substation Saturday connecting the Jaffna peninsula with the National Grid after a lapse of two decades. After 23 years of isolated operation, the peninsula will receive the power from the National Grid when the 67-kilometer-long transmission line from Kilinochchi to Chunnakam connects the newly-built 63 MVA Chunnakam Grid Substation with Kilinochchi Grid Substation. The new Chunnakam substation, constructed at a cost of Rs. 1.8 billion, will supply 63 megawatts of direct power to fulfil the need of around 120,000 houses and small and medium scale industries in the peninsula. Earlier the Jaffna peninsula was powered by the power from the Lakshapana hydropower plant but after 1990 Jaffna was isolated from the National Grid due to terrorist activities. The north was then powered through large-scale private generators. The Northern Spring development program initiated on the directive of President Rajapaksa after the end of the war in May 2009 started a program to supply electricity to all households in the Jaffna peninsula under Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa’s direction. The lack of connection from the National Grid to power the war-torn region was an obstacle for setting up industries and with the connection of the new power plant, economic development in the peninsula will be boosted. Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said that the total electricity requirement of the people in the Jaffna peninsula would be fulfilled with the commissioning of this grid substation. Ministers Wanniarachchi and Douglas Devananda and Governor of the Northern Province G. A. Chandrasiri were also present at this event.