By Ifham Nizam
The government would go ahead with the proposed plan 2019 to establish 2700 MW of fossil fuel fired power stations by year 2020, a senior ministry official said.
Ministry Secretary Dr. Suren Batagoda said that there would be 300 MW new LNG Combined cycle at Kerawalapitya by WindForce Consortium, 300 MW new LNG Combined cycle Kerawalapitiya by Lakdanavi 300 MW new LNG Combined cycle plant at Kerawalapitiya with India, 300 MW new LNG Combined cycle at Kerawalapitiya with Japan, 300 MW new LNG Combined cycle at Hambanthota with China 300 MW new Coal power plant at Norochcholai and 300 MW new additional Coal plant at Norochcholai 600 MW new Coal power plant at Trincomalee. They would be given top priority considering country’s energy needs.
The Ministry is also planning to generate 750 MW of wind power in Mannar, Punarin and Siyambalanduwa and 1000 MW of solar power by 2025.
Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) Executive Director, Hemantha Withanage told The Island 1200MW of coal power plants could not be endorsed due to their adverse impact on the enviornment.
He also said that the country’s first coal-fired power plant at Norochcholai – plant 1 and 2 -operated without equipment to remove toxic Sulphur dioxide.
CEJ/IPEN research in late 2018 found that some women at child bearing age living around the Puttalam lagoon had very high levels of Mercury as high as 15 ppm -Parts Per Million in their hair.
Norochcholai coal power plant operated without an Environmental Protection License for the last two years and that was an insult to the Northwestern Provincial Environmental Authority and the Central Environmental Authority, he said.
“The government taxes even motorcycles for their carbon emission and also conducts emission tests on vehicles, failed to monitor and regulate the huge emission coming from this 900 MW dirty coal-fired power plant,” he added.
Withanage also said Minisater Karunanayake had forgotten that Sri Lanka had promised to reduce 4% of the Green House gas emission from the energy sector under the Nationally Determined Contribution submitted to the UNFCCC in 2018 and, instead it will increase SGHG emission by more than 30%.