Rajapaksa and Xi commission last phase of Norochcholai Power Plant
President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Chinese President Xi Jinping together commissioned the last phase of the Norochcholai Lakvijaya Power Plant last evening at a joint event that remotely linked the Presidential Secretariat with Norochcholai via a fibre optic network.
Work on the second phase of Sri Lanka’s only coal-fired power plant commenced in March 2010. Through this final phase, two generators of 300 MW each will contribute 600 MW, which will be sent through high voltage transmission lines to Anuradhapura through 234 electrical towers.
The first phase, which was completed in March 2011 and commissioned by President Rajapaksa, generates 300 MW of electricity that is being transmitted from Norochcholai to Veyangoda. In total, the Norochcholai plant now produces a total of 900 MW of electricity.
According to the Ministry of Power and Energy, from July 2011 to December 2013, the plant has generated approximately 3,646 GWh of electricity to the national grid, saving the country approximately Rs. 65 billion.
The project was completed with a concessionary loan by China Exim Bank. The cost of the entire project is $ 1,346 million. The first phase cost $ 455 million, and the second phase cost $ 891 million.
High-level officials from both countries joined the two Leaders for the commissioning ceremony at the Presidential Secretariat.
The Norochcholai Power Plant will further improve Sri Lankans’ access to electricity. Access to power has improved throughout the country in recent years, including the north and east. In February 2013, President Rajapaksa commissioned the 24 MW Janani Power Plant in Chunnakam in Jaffna. That project helped provide uninterrupted power supply to the Jaffna and Kilinochchi Districts.
The total percentage of households in Sri Lanka that have access to electricity has increased from 76.7% in 2005 to 97% in 2014.
Sri Lanka’s second coal-fired power plant will be constructed at Sampur in the eastern region of Trincomalee and is expected to add a further 500 MW to the national grid.