Proposal seeking Rs. 25 b to buy power rejected

There have been objections to a cabinet paper seeking Rs. 25 billion for the emergency purchase of power for the CEB to prepare for a possible electricity crisis in 2019. Finance minister Mangala Samaraweera has said that the government did not have that much of money available. The president and the prime minister too, objected.

However, last week’s cabinet news briefing was told that a proposal has been made to set up a 400 megawatt natural gas power plant in Hambantota.

The cabinet has approved a proposal submitted by PM Ranil Wickremesinghe, as the national policy and economic affairs minister, to construct this power plant and a natural gas unloading terminal, as a joint partnership venture by the CEB and China Machinery Engineering Corporation.

Discussions have taken place between the governments of the two countries on the importance of using natural gas as a source for electricity generation in Sri Lanka.

It is to be implemented with the main objectives of supplying to the proposed industrial zone in Hambantota and to face a possible electricity shortage in the future.

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