Govt. fast tracks construction of terminals | Daily News
LNG Kerawalapitiya power plants

Govt. fast tracks construction of terminals

As the tussle over the awarding of the Kerawalapitiya 300 megawatt Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) tender continues, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake called on all stakeholders to work in unison in the best interest of the general public adding that the matter has been referred by Cabinet to the Attorney General’s Department.

Minister Karunanayake said that it was after much deliberation that the Ministry has decided to allow not just GCL-Windforce which secured the bid but also Lakdhanavi to set up a second LNG power plant of 300 mw in Kerawalapitiya. Officials from Lakdhanavi insist that tender procedures have been flouted and that it would not accept an ‘illegal power plant.’ The Cabinet of Ministers have referred the matter to the Attorney General’s Department for their observation.

“We have been going over this for over a year, so we finally decided that based on the recommendations of the Procurement Appeals Board, GCL-Windforce have secured the tender and that matter has been closed, but we have also decided to award another tender to Lakdhanavi to construct a second similar LNG power plant,” he said.

“We are looking for a long-term least cost solution and are trying to bring down the price per unit of electricity whilst minimizing our losses. We are looking at an addition of 2500 mw to the National Grid.”

“I do not want to give into the diesel mafia, which is why I have said that we will go for LNG plant from the first day on. As an impetus we are speeding up the construction of two terminals, one with Swiss-Chinese collaboration while the second with India-Japan for the new plant,” he said. “We will be putting out a fresh tender to welcome options of cheaper generation which we can add within a few months to a year.”

Lanka Transformers Limited CEO Dhammika Nanayakkara reiterated that Lakdhanavi would not accept any project that is awarded outside the duly accepted tender procedures. Calling it unlawful, he said that under the National Electricity Act it is unlawful to award power projects without competitive bidding unless it was a national calamity.

The Minister and Secretary Dr. Suren Batagoda said that the Ministry arrived at the decision to award Lakdhanavi to set up a 300 mw LNG plant whilst approving the Procurement Appeals Board recommendation to award a contract to the consortium of CSL China Windforce and RenewGen due to the delay of nearly two years.

The Minister also added that he was disappointed to see members of the diplomatic corps engaging in the discussion alleging that the procedures have not been transparent.

“I am dismayed and disappointed at some of the sentiments by members of the diplomatic community. I have asked that the Foreign Minister to look into the matter,” he said adding that it was outside of the purview to speak on out matters such as these.


 

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