Govt backtracks on anti-coal policy Two 600MW coal plants coming up
By Ishara Gamage
The Government has decided to introduce a less environmental impact 'clean coal technology' to construct a new 600MW coal power plant in the area of the Lakvijaya Power Station in Norochcholai and another 600MW high efficient coal power plant in the Foul Point area in Trincomalee, a top government official told Ceylon FT.
"The relevant proposal has already been submitted to the Government for approval but final approval might be delayed due to objections made by a Minister", he said. The official said there was a government policy to maintain a proper electricity generation capacity mix with 30% from Natural Gas, 30% from coal, 25% from hydro and 15% from oil. "Despite the protest, it is vital to include environmentally-friendly clean coal power in the mix and it will reduce electricity generation costs", he said.
However, anti coal energy experts in Sri Lanka have warned against these projects and said 'Clean coal' was the coal industry's marketing term, designed to mislead the public into believing that coal can be clean. They also said the proposed energy mix contradicts electricity self-sufficiency targets by 2030.
"Coal is never going to be clean, compared to other forms of energy such as renewable energy and gas. The phrase 'Clean Coal' refers to pollutant reducing technologies and Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) technology. Even though the amount of pollutants is reduced, it still pollutes and this pollution creates significant problems for countries such as Sri Lanka due to its geography and wind patterns," they told Ceylon FT.
According to them, Sri Lanka's present off-peak (night) electricity demand is about 1,000 MW and the Norochcholai plant has to be de-loaded to operate during that period, resulting in lower efficiency and higher costs.
"If such 1,200MW new coal plants are built, another pump storage hydro plant will also have to be built to accommodate them during off-peak time (to store excess generation)," they told to Ceylon FT.
They also said that it will further increase costs. According to them, the annual cost increase due to building a 1,200 MW coal plants instead of Natural Gas Power plants would be Rs 30.3 Billion.
"Nonetheless, recent tender for 300 MW Natural Gas fired combine cycle plant (which are flexible in operation than coal plants) costs Rs 14.99/kWh while the Norochcholai coal plants costs Rs 18.60/kWh, which is higher even without the Pumped Storage Hydro plant cost", they said.
However, the government statement as seen by Ceylon FT, relating to proposed coal plants stated that the Government will assure that high priority will be given to environmental security in electricity generation.
It said it is important to maintain an energy mix of firm energy sources to uplift the economy of the country and to ensure energy security.
"Further it is necessary for Sri Lanka to maintain the cost of electricity for one unit of the GDP at a lower level to compete with the world economy. Therefore it is essential to diversify electricity generation to the maximum possibility to maintain the cost of electricity generation at a possible low level and to ensure national energy security", it stated.
It also stated that adopting the strategic utilization of all energy sources that can be practically developed for electricity generation as a policy and utilization of the petroleum sources such as natural gas, coal and fuel oil as well as utilization of renewable energy sources such as wind power solar power biomass, geo thermal energy wave power and solid waste and atomic energy as and when required for the generation of electricity as energy sources are essential.
According to experts, 'Clean coal' begins with very high efficient plants, reaching over 45% efficiency, such as Ultra-Supercritical (USC) plants and Advanced Ultra Supercritical plants (A-USC). "Assuming a 600 MW USC plant, capital costs would be approx USD 2.1 Billion even without CCS. Similar sized Natural Gas based power plant would cost approx USD 660 Million", they said.
The current generation plan approved by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) after detailed review and public consultation does not have these coal power plants. "The Government overriding the process will create additional uncertainty, on top of flip-flopping on the coal decision taken in 2016. This will erode public trust along with the trust of investors and business community", they said.
According to them, Foul Point neighbours, Shell Bay one of the most unique ecosystems of Sri Lanka home to twelve types of giant clams (not found elsewhere in Sri Lanka) and also species of unknown genetic diversity. It is not possible to build a coal power plant in Foul Point without destroying Shell Bay, experts say.
"Norochcholai is already highly polluted – land and well water, through coal dust and fly ash, marine eco system through water withdrawal, hot water and pollutant discharge and coal spillage. Even if pollution can be reduced (costly retrofits), it will take decades for it to recover. Adding additional pollution to the area will compound the problem", they said.
People in Sampur launched a sustained protest against the previous power plant, which created condemnation of the coal power plant among local politicians. People in Norachcholai are heavily affected from the existing power plant. Approval of these proposed projects might create protests and anger against the Government (and promises given) close to an election, is the view held by many.
- Using a dog as live bait to capture Panmure leopard Environmentalists cry foul
- PRESIDENT TO TAKE OVER ECONOMY AFTER LG POLLS
- Only fraction of requested funds sent to NPC last year Lack of funds derails development plans – CM
- US Govt in shutdown
- PCoI report on Bonds issue AG holds back 103 pages
- Alarming Police statistics reveal 3 underage girls raped every day!
- LANKAN LAWS SUFFICIENT ARJUNA MAHENDRAN CAN BE ARRESTED – AG
- Once Parliament convenes on 23rd JO to grill Govt on Bonds scam When will legal action be taken?
- Sunday Leader Editor murder case Intelligence men seen loitering near Lasantha’s office CID
- Ensure a free and fair election AAGGSL Urges public to elect honest candidates
- Elimination of bribery and corruption National Action Plan discussed
- Lankan jailed in UAE after FB post
- US helping SL to counter human trafficking
- 73-election law violations and 168 election related complaints 21 candidates among 197 arrested
- Seat belts and air bags compulsory from July
- Torture and Enforced Disappearances EU-SL JC insists on zero tolerance Wants PTA repealed and CCP amended
- If Ranil removed from Premiership UNPers threaten to impeach Prez
- Prez hints at being afflicted by Mahinda syndrome
- Rupee weakens 40 cents amidst uncertainty
- Udayanga has Rs 94M in 8 bank accounts FCID
- Malaka surrenders to Court Arrest warrant recalled
- To iron out SLFP-UNP issues in Yahapalana Govt Forming of advisory council proposed SLFP and UNP Ministers to discuss this week
- Obtaining bribe to release dead body 2 fmr MoH janitors sentenced to 8 years
- CIABOC withdraws charges Aluthgamage released from Case
- Rejection of Maharagama UC nominations SC throws out SLPP petition CoA postpones 14 petitions to 24th
- NOCSL Members came out together against current regime Rohan Fernando announces candidacy for presidency
- North and South Korea to compete under one flag
- Financial irregularities of NOCSL exposed in Audit
- HNB Sponsors Millennium Trophy Golf Tournament Dr. Scarth and Niloo Jayathilake clinch top awards
- 12th ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup Ireland beat Afghanistan
- Sharapova eliminated Halep survives
- Kandy SC stay unbeaten
- Premier League club cricket – Tier A Marians crush Ports Authority
- Premier League Cricket – Tier ‘B’ Naved scores his third ton
- Bruised Sri Lanka battle to stay alive
- Svitolina ends dream of teen
- Sainz stays on Dakar title course
- Federer says get on with it
- New Zealand beat Pakistan in clean sweep
- North Western Archery C’ship Wayamba Royal International School holds contest
- ‘Singer Cup’ U-13 Division 1 Cricket Three schools advance to semis
- National athletes petitioned to IOC over controversial athletes’ commission
- Homeboys Kandy tough to beat on own turf
- Army favoured to win
- India rout Zimbabwe
- PUCSL to sue CEB
- Emergency power costs SL Rs 40B
- Tourism earnings up 2.3% Jan-Nov
- India’s Marg ERP to expand in SL
- Hemas acquires 75.1% of Atlas for Rs 5.7 billion
- SLT launches SL’s first Tier III ‘National Data Centre’
- CIMA organizes Directors’ Tax Forum 2018
- Carpetright shares crash on profit warning
- Sri Lanka achieves record exports in 2017
- Investment and employment opportunities open up in Maldives
- CCC launches ‘Economic + Sector Review and Outlook Report 2018’
- Strengthening the labour force to face the Fourth Industrial Revolution
- 100PLUS isotonic brand now in Sri Lanka
- NDB Wealth marks 2018 with website re-launch
- ABANS donates school supplies to children of staff
- BMICH nominated for Platinum award
- ‘PIONEERING LANKA’S SOLAR POWER MY BENCHMARK’
- Vallibel Finance opens in Wennappuwa
- CMA Australia completes 20 years in Sri Lanka
- MullenLowe, Quantum to list 2018 consumer trends
- Concretes & Abstracts Pitipana Committee and Public Debt
- Achieving true lasting reconciliation
- Dying art of sending postcards
- The Pursuit of Peace Starting at SCOPP
- The Oddest President Ever!
- Gang rape shakes Tissamaharama
- Threat to fauna and flora in the Wilpattu National Park region Lid blown on Gangewadiya sand mining racket Dredging of sand on such big scale poses a grave threat to wildlife
- Who are the ‘Aava’ Group? Mohan’s story
- Local Government Elections on 10 February will be largest electoral exercise in history Many firsts in LG Polls this year
- Elbow pain Is it Tennis or Golfer’s Elbow?
- Participatory citizenship is important - Rosy
- I have a master plan - Salley
- All set for Free and Fair LG Polls – Mahinda Deshapriya
- If given power We’ll develop country in two years -Chandrasiri Mahagamage
- Upcoming LG Elections a referendum
- National Prosperity Turning the Tide
- Disposable coffee cups:British lawmakers call for “latte levy”
- If only we could crackdown on the root causes to effect sustainable solutions Herein lies a Nation’s progress
- Forecast your own destiny An astrological guide
- Kala Sarpa Yoga will test sustainability of government
- TIMING OF EVENTS –CHILD BIRTH
- Season for Marriage and Construction
- Cancer Causing Vastu Defects
- “Hail, Caesar!” Silliness as a virtue
- Notes on history: The thinkers and the doers
- Reflections on a nation of non-readers
- The Disaster Artist: The (un)making of a movie
- Our children and our cinema
- INTERPRETING ASIAN CINEMA: CHALLENGES AHEAD
- How Sanskrit journalism is slowly hogging headlines
- ice manufacturing in South Asia
- Kite Surfing Lanka Kalpitiya An experience of a lifetime
- Ella and mini Adam’s Peak
- A cave of history -Ravana Cave
- Indu & Sanwada We have so much in common
- The Writer’s Kitchenette Vietnamese Fusion Rice Wraps
- ‘Derana Champion’ Shines with OPPO
- A Possible Fallout as US freezes Funds for Palestinian refugees
- Jungle loving President Premadasa
- How Felix Dias became Bandaranaike
- IT IS MY CHOICE
- In your own skin be the barrel you want
- Dear Patriarchy,Dilshani Palugaswewa tells it like it is in this open letter