Re enforcing the long standing bonds between China and Sri Lanka the first 300 MW capacity of the first coal power plant in the country was added onto the National grid by his Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse on the 22nd of March 2011.
Providing a timely solution to the power crisis in the country a daily capacity of 5-6 GW hours was added to the National Grid. The entire operation and implementation of the first phase of this coal power plant was handed over to the CEB with the participation of the Chairman CEB doctor Wimaladharma Abeywickrema by the engineers of CMEC last July. The Ceremonial handing over of the first phase was carried out today (23.09.2011) AT 12.40 pm with the participation of the Chinese Ambassador to Sri Lanka Mrs. Yang Xi Ping and the Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawa, Chairman of the CEB Doctor Wimaladharma Abeywickrema, Project Director W.D.N Xaviour and the Deputy Chairman of CMEC Mr. Li Chao Yang attended by many senior CEB officials.
Concurrent to the handing over ceremony, addressing the media Minister Ranawaka stated that in keeping with the agreement between the two countries, it was scheduled to hand over the 2nd phase of this power plant to the Sri Lankan Government in November 2013. However according to the discussions held with the officials of CMEC the 2nd phase will be handed over to the Government ahead of schedule in the first quarter of 2013. The Minister further notified the media that the Lakwijaya Coal Power plant will be closed for 10 days from the 28th of September in order to establish the Sulfur absorption machine that was destroyed in a fire and gauge the final efficiency of the power plant.
Depending on the development activities, by the 1st month of 2012 a capacity of 150 MW from the Upper Kothmale Hydro Power plant, a capacity of 300 MW from the Lakwijaya Coal Power plant 2nd stage in the first quarter of 2013, and the 3rd stage with a capacity of 300MW by May 2014 will be added to the National Grid said the Minister.
Addressing the gathering at the handing over ceremony the Vice President of CMEC stated that the fullest corporation of the management Engineers and the entire staff of the CEB was given to them further strengthening the ties between the two countries. He further stated that on behalf of the Chinese Government he wished to extend his sincere gratitude for the fullest support rendered by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse.
Addressing the gathering the Chairman of the CEB stated that the Lakwijaya Coal Power plant has rendered an enormous strength during the past 3 months by adding its capacity to strengthen the power sector. He also stated that the dedication of the Chinese officials, CEB officials and also the Minister of Power and Energy has been instrumental in averting a power crisis and ensuring uninterrupted power supply.