Experts say CEB leaning towards coal power projects is an ‘obstacle’

Experts say CEB leaning towards coal power projects is an ‘obstacle’

Experts say CEB leaning towards coal power projects is an ‘obstacle’

Written by Staff Writer

23 Mar, 2016 | 9:52 pm

Experts are of the view that the Ceylon Electricity Board moving towards coal power projects is an obstacle to the government’s efforts to generate electricity using renewable energy.

The proposed Sampur Coal Power Plant was launched citing that low-cost electricity would be provided by the year 2017, to meet the increasing demand.

Sri Lanka’s second coal fired thermal power plant is implemented as a joint venture of Ceylon Electricity Board and National Thermal Power Corporation of India.

The Joint Venture Company has been incorporated as Trincomalee Power Company Limited.

However, last year the Ministry of Power and Energy introduced the Sri Lanka energy sector development plan for a knowledge-based economy aimed with a vision to capture the full potential of all renewable resources, and increase the share of renewable energy in electricity generation to 100% by 2030.

In 2013, the primary energy supply through coal was four percent and the plan hopes to drop that figure to one percent by 2030.

While the government introduced such a policy, the Ceylon Electricity Board continues to focus on coal power plants in a bid to generate electricity for the coming years.

The Ceylon Electricity Boards proposed long-term plan to construct thirteen coal power plants by 2030, was rejected by the Public Utilities Commission or the PUC.

However, plans are afoot for the construction of the 500 MW Coal Power Plant proposed to be constructed in Sampur.

Experts point out that a coal power-plant poses a threat to the environment and emits poisonous gas to the atmosphere. Ecologists say that going ahead with the proposed coal power plant will bring about a very dangerous situation.

According to environmentalists, the poisonous gas released from the Norochcholai and Sampur Power Plants would spread to many areas with the inter monsoon rains, and could bring about many health issues.

Residents of Sampur say that if the Coal Power plant is constructed , they will lose their inherited lands.

Can Sri Lanka step away from coal power generation which has several negative implications and resort to any other form of power generation?

Permission has also been granted for the environment report for the Sampur Coal Power Plant in Trincomalee.

However, environmentalist point out that there are a number of errors in this report.

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