Sri Lanka and coal

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This article is part of the CoalSwarm coverage of Sri Lanka and coal
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The U.S. Geological Survey lists Sri Lanka as having no domestic coal production.[1] The International Energy Agency stated that in 2007 approximately 60% of electricity production was from oil-fired plants with the bulk of the rest from hydro capacity. Very minor amounts of electricity were generated from wind and solar photo-voltaic panels.[2]

Proposed coal-fired power stations

Sampur power station

Sampur power station, a 500 megawatt (MW) coal-fired power station which has been proposed to be constructed at Sampur, Trincomalee in Sri Lanka. The project would be developed through a joint venture company between the the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the Ceylon Electricity Board."[3]

Lakvijaya Power Plant

Lakvijaya Power Plant is a proposed 900 megawatt coal-fired power station in the Puttalam District of the Northwestern Province in Sri Lanka. It would be Sri Lanka's first coal power plant. The first phase of the plant is to inject 300 MW to the main grid by 2011, with the second phase injecting another 600MW by 2013. The Chinese government thorough the Export-Import Bank of China has provided US$ 455 million for the Lakvijaya plant. The delivery of the first shipment of 65,500 MT of coal at a cost of US$7 million from Indonesia was expected in the first week of November 2010.[4]

It was announced in late March 2011 that Sri Lanka’s first coal power plant Lakvijaya, at Norochcholai, in the Puttalam District began Phase One of its operation. Under Phase One of the project, 300 MW, which amounts to 17% of the national power requirement of the country, was be added to the country's National Grid.[5]

In August 2011, the Export-Import Bank of China offered an $891 million loan to build the second phase of 600 MW.[6]

Japan offers $600 million loan for Southern province power station

In March 2013 it was reported that the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) was planning a 500 MW coal-fired power station at Ahuruwella near Induruwa on the south west coast with assistance from Japan. The news report stated that "the plant would use eco-friendly technology and funding is expected from Japan. Industry sources say funding has been requested from Japan but no decision has been made." [7]

In May 2013 the Chairman of the CEB, W.P. Ganegala, announced that a 500 MW coal-fired power station costing approximately $US500 million would be established in the Southern Province at a location yet to be decided. However, this seems likely to be referring to the Ahuruwella proposal. The Sunday Times stated that while surveys were underway a location had not been selected. Ganegala stated that during a visit to Japan by Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa in March 2013 the Japanese government had offered to assist with the project. Ganegala stated that it was expected that work on the plant would begin in late 2013 and take 18 months.[8]

In June 2013 Reuters reported discussion between Sri Lanka and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for a $600 million loan to fund a 600 MW coal plant. The next step would be a visit to Sri Lanka by a Japanese team to begin a feasibility assessment.[9]

Coal transport

Sri Lanka has signed a $450 million deal with China Merchants Holdings and Sri Lanka's Aitken Spence to boost Sri Lanka Colombo port's cargo-handling capacity.[6]

China has also lent $400 million for the first phase of the proposed Hambantota Port.[6]

Relations with China

China was Sri Lanka's largest lender in 2009 and 2010, giving $1.2 billion and $821 million respectively. In 2009, that figure accounted for 54 percent of total foreign loans, and 25 percent in 2010. In the first six months of 2011, trade between China and Sri Lanka was worth $1.28 billion; only $68 million of that was exports from Sri Lanka to China.[6]

China Development Bank Corporation has agreed to provide $1.5 billion by 2015 for construction of roads, bridges, power plants and water and irrigation schemes in Sri Lanka. China's Exim Bank has committed $102.5 million for Sri Lanka to buy 13 new diesel engines for its railways. The engines will come from Chinese manufacturers.[6]

Articles and resources


  1. Chin S. Kuo, The Mineral Industry of Sri Lanka, U.S. Geological Survey, October 2009.
  2. International Energy Agency, "Electricity/Heat in Sri Lanka in 2007", International Energy Agency website, accessed June 2010.
  3. National Thermal Power Corporation, "Announcements 2006-07", National Thermal Power Corporation website, accessed June 2010.
  4. Shirajiv Sirimane, "Two major development projects from November", Sunday Observer, October 24, 2010.
  5. "First phase of Sri Lanka's first coal power plant to be opened tomorrow" 'ColomboPage', March 21, 2011.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Factbox: China-Sri Lanka economic ties" Reuters, Aug. 9, 2011.
  7. " Sri Lanka plans 500MW coal plant in South West", Lanka Business Online, March 21, 2013.
  8. "Japan to build coal-power plant in south", The Sunday Times, May 26, 2013.
  9. "Sri Lanka in talks on $600 mln Japan loan for coal power plant," Reuters, June 7, 2013

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