The Government yesterday categorically denied Indian media reports that Sri Lanka was planning to build a nuclear power station in the Sampur area with Pakistani aid.
“The Government has not discussed such a proposal with any country or organisation. We have no intention to go ahead with a nuclear power plant. Any reports to this effect are completely fabricated,” Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka asserted.
The Minister was referring to reports in several Indian newspapers and websites that Sri Lanka had engaged in discussions with Pakistan on setting up a nuclear power plant in Sampur, Trincomalee. It was also mentioned that the Indian Government had called for a report on this matter from its High Commissioner in Sri Lanka and that he had submitted such a report to New Delhi.
The Minister, who said he was unaware of any such development, noted that Sampur has only one power project – the coal power project to be implemented in collaboration with the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) of India.
Work on this 500 MW project that could potentially link the power grids of the two countries will start in due course. “In this backdrop, it is unfortunate that some sections of the Indian media are painting a wrong picture on the situation,” the Minister told the media in Colombo.
He stressed that Sri Lanka, as a sovereign nation, need not seek permission from any quarter to commence power projects or other development projects.
The Minister is working according to a long-term schedule to increase the country’s power generation capacity. Grid substations will be set up in Colombo, Hambantota, Kalpitiya and Trincomalee as part of this expansion plan. This will help overall development efforts in these areas.
Meanwhile, the CEB last week successfully addressed the technical issues at the Norochcholai coal power plant and the combined diesel plant which necessitated the first pre-announced power cuts in more than a decade. Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the region which supplies power uninterrupted.
Courtesy: Sunday Observer