Water releasing ceremony of the Upper Kothmale electrification project today.
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150 MW of power to be added to the National Grid by next March.
The ceremonial water releasing ceremony of the longest tunnel in the country, the Upper Kothmale Hydro power project took place at the auspicious time of 11.20 Am today (17.01.2012), with the patronage of the minister of power and energy Patali Champika Ranawaka.
The Kothmale Hydro Power Project  is considered the largest hydro power project in the country, while the tunnel which carries the water from Kothmala Oya, from Thalawakale to Niyamgam dora is 13 meters in length and 5.9 meters wide. By opening the main gate of the tunnel by 10 cm three cubic meters of water was  released into the tunnel  per second.
The project engineers have made all necessary arrangements to commence the experimental stage of the project, while it is expected to generate around 75 MW of power. According to the ministry of power and energy, this project which engineering expertise from Japan and Sri Lanka, will generate the full capacity of 150 MW by March next year. It will be ceremonially commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapakse on 27 March, further enhancing the total power capacity of the country from 1207.45 MW to 1357.45 MW.
The drive to increase the power capacity in the country commenced on 03 March 2006, under the Mahinda Chinthanaya initiative. Approval for the Upper Kothmale Hydro Power project was granted in 1998, in accordance with the National Environmental act.   However there were various objections raised, and subsequent to court deliberations and various negotiations, the project received its full approval in March 2000. The annual capacity anticipated from this project is 409 GW hours of power.
The underground power station currently under construction in the Niyam Gam Dora area consists of switch board panel which is 37 meters in width and 130 meters long. This facility is 66M long, 19 M wide and 36 M in height, while the transmission network has a capacity of 220kilo volts.
The financial assistance of for this project of Rs. 37,817 million was granted by the Japanese Government under a concessionary foreign development loan scheme, while the investment by the Ceylon Electricity Board was Rs. 8548 million.
Meanwhile 495 houses have been constructed for the families displaced by the project. In keeping with the policy of the Upper Kothmale Project, all families displaced by this project were awarded houses greater in value to the ones they had lost, while all infrastructure facilities such as water, electricity, transport facilities ect.  were also provided, and they were given full ownership to the houses as well.
Furthermore a bridge was also constructed across the Thalawakale Kothmala oya of 80 M at a cost of Rs. 77 million further enhancing the transportation facilities, under the guidance of the minister.
Among the distinguished gathering present at today’s ceremony were the deputy  minister of power and energy Premalal Jayasekera, the chairman of CEB Prof. Wimaladharma Abeywickrema, General Manager CEB Nihal Wickremasooriya, additional GM and the Upper Kothmale project director Shavindranath Fernando

Water releasing ceremony of the Upper Kothmale electrification project today150 MW of power to be added to the National Grid by next March. The ceremonial water releasing ceremony of the longest tunnel in the country, the Upper Kothmale Hydro power project took place at the auspicious time of 11.20 Am today (17.01.2012), with the patronage of the minister of power and energy Patali Champika Ranawaka. The Kothmale Hydro Power Project  is considered the largest hydro power project in the country, while the tunnel which carries the water from Kothmala Oya, from Thalawakale to Niyamgam dora is 13 meters in length and 5.9 meters wide. By opening the main gate of the tunnel by 10 cm three cubic meters of water was  released into the tunnel  per second. The project engineers have made all necessary arrangements to commence the experimental stage of the project, while it is expected to generate around 75 MW of power. According to the ministry of power and energy, this project which engineering expertise from Japan and Sri Lanka, will generate the full capacity of 150 MW by March next year. It will be ceremonially commissioned by President Mahinda Rajapakse on 27 March, further enhancing the total power capacity of the country from 1207.45 MW to 1357.45 MW. The drive to increase the power capacity in the country commenced on 03 March 2006, under the Mahinda Chinthanaya initiative. Approval for the Upper Kothmale Hydro Power project was granted in 1998, in accordance with the National Environmental act.   However there were various objections raised, and subsequent to court deliberations and various negotiations, the project received its full approval in March 2000. The annual capacity anticipated from this project is 409 GW hours of power. The underground power station currently under construction in the Niyam Gam Dora area consists of switch board panel which is 37 meters in width and 130 meters long. This facility is 66M long, 19 M wide and 36 M in height, while the transmission network has a capacity of 220kilo volts. The financial assistance of for this project of Rs. 37,817 million was granted by the Japanese Government under a concessionary foreign development loan scheme, while the investment by the Ceylon Electricity Board was Rs. 8548 million. Meanwhile 495 houses have been constructed for the families displaced by the project. In keeping with the policy of the Upper Kothmale Project, all families displaced by this project were awarded houses greater in value to the ones they had lost, while all infrastructure facilities such as water, electricity, transport facilities ect.  were also provided, and they were given full ownership to the houses as well. Furthermore a bridge was also constructed across the Thalawakale Kothmala oya of 80 M at a cost of Rs. 77 million further enhancing the transportation facilities, under the guidance of the minister. Among the distinguished gathering present at today’s ceremony were the deputy  minister of power and energy Premalal Jayasekera, the chairman of CEB Prof. Wimaladharma Abeywickrema, General Manager CEB Nihal Wickremasooriya, additional GM and the Upper Kothmale project director Shavindranath Fernando