Dec 01, 2020

Japan suspends aid : Severe power shortage in the offing? Featured

Following the cancellation of the Colombo Light Rail Transit Project (LRT), Japan has suspended funding for the second phase of the 'Greater Colombo Transmission and Distribution Reduction Project', reports say.

This could lead to a severe power shortage in the country within the next few years due to the inadequacy of the infrastructure required to transmit the electricity generated by the power plants, the 'Aruna' newspaper reports. 

The main reason for this is that even though new power plants have been built to meet the ever-increasing demand for electricity, existing transmission lines do not have the capacity to transmit additional power. However, emergency transfers have been made.

The second phase of the Greater Colombo Transmission and Distribution Loss Reduction Project to increase transmission capacity was initiated with Japanese assistance and was at the 'approval and operational phase'.

However, Power and Energy Minister Dullas Alahapperuma has said that although the suspension of Japanese aid has been confirmed, steps are being taken to implement the transmission project without delay.

He has further said,

“We have already organized the transmission system of the first LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya. It has been said that Japanese aid cannot be given for the transmission system of the second power plant. But, it won't hurt us. Because we are yet to call tenders for the second power plant. We hope to secure Cabinet approval to obtain another source to replace the Japanese aid for the transmission system of the second power plant. Therefore, by the time the Kerawalapitiya second power plant is built, we will be able to install a transmission system without hindrance,” he has said.