Business Times

No power cuts till 2020:Power Minister

Sri Lanka will not experience power cuts till 2020 due to the successful implementation of the short term power generation plan, Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka said.

The coal power generation plan aimed at adding 200 megawatts to the national grid a year is in force. But the government has taken a decision not to go for more coal power plants beyond Norochcholai and Sampur, and shift to renewable energy.

Addressing packed audience of around 200 industrialists, exporters and senior officials at a forum on “Power Plans” 2011 and beyond organised by The National Chamber of Exporters of Sri Lanka on Friday, he said that a 300 MW coal power plant being built by the Chinese in Puttalam will be expanded to a total of 900MW. Another coal power plant is to be built by an Indian company in Sampur, near the north-eastern Trincomalee harbour.

"After the Sampur power plant comes by 2014 we will not go for any more coal power plants," Mr. Ranawaka said. The short-term plan is aimed at reducing the cost of operating expensive diesel and heavy-fuel based thermal power plants which now provide the base load power by converting to less costly fuel, he said.

He disclosed that a new electricity tariff structure will be introduced soon according priority to consumers who follow energy conservation methods. Commercial and hotel sectors will have to pay more for electricity under the new tariff structure, he added.

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