Ministry, NTPC seek MEAs views on Lanka project site

Mumbai, May 28 | Updated: May 29 2007, 05:32am hrs
State-run National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the power ministry have sought the intervention of the ministry of external affairs on the change in the site for the 500-mw, coal-based project in the erstwhile bastion of the LTTE.

The company has expressed apprehensions about site 5 offered by the Sri Lankan government for the proposed project in the Trincomalee region.

NTPC, in a recent communication had stated that it was not possible to accept the new site located in the Sampur area, since it was recently evacuated from the LTTE. The site can be accessed only with the help of boats and will require large-scale investments in infrastructure for constructing bridges and roads. Besides, NTPC is fearful that the construction of the project at the stated site can stir politically sensitivities in India.

The external affairs ministrys view is sought on whether or not NTPC should go ahead with the development of the project at the new site.

However, the Sri Lankan government has assured it would provide all infrastructural facilities to NTPC for developing the new site, power ministry sources told FE.

Curiously, according to an agreement between NTPC and the Ceylon Electricity Board signed in December last year, the coal-based thermal plant was to be located in the Trincomalee district. However, the new site proposed in the Sampur area is far from the earlier site identified near the Indian Oil Corporations oil complex, close to the Trincomalee harbour.