Kerawalapitiya, the forgotten power plant

Nov 10 (IL) There is much hype made about the proposed coal power plant and the Upper Kotmale Hydro power project. But sadly many seem to have forgotten about yet another vital power plant: the proposed 300 MW Kerawalapitiya power plant, which is also very much behind schedule, a senior CEB engineer said.

According to the original plan, the Kerawalapitiya combined cycle power plant was to go into operation by early next year. But the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is still in the process of evaluating the bids, informed sources said. "The CEB does not have much choice, several foreign companies submitted their proposals initially, but now there is only one player in the field, a Korean consortium," they said.

But the CEB is facing other problems with regard to the Kerawalapitiya plant. Even though the Board wanted a unit of electricity to cost around Rs. 7 (excluding fuel costs), the Korean Consortium has proposed a 12 US cents (around Rs. 12), per unit, sans fuel costs.

The Kerawalapitiya plant was initially to be a 150 MW range power plant.

However the anticipated delay in implementing the coal power plant caused the CEB to increase its capacity from 150 MW to 300 MW.

The feasibility study on the project was completed in December 1998 with the assistance of the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).