India-Sri Lanka power transfer project
feasibility report soon
Mar 16, 2008 - Anil Sasi - The Hindu Business
$450-m submarine cable link to connect Madurai and Anuradhapura
New Delhi - The feasibility study for the proposed $450-million
mega undersea power transmission link between India and
Sri Lanka is slated to be ready shortly.
The 200-km submarine cable would enable India to export
electricity to the island nation and is likely to be set
up with a capacity to wheel around 1,000 MW of electricity,
government officials involved in the exercise said.
The report on the HVDC (high voltage direct current) link
between the two countries is being prepared by State-owned
transmission major Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL),
which had earlier estimated that it can set up the link
in around 40 months once all clearances are in place, officials
The link is likely to connect Madurai in Tamil Nadu and
Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka’s North Central Province.
While a joint Steering Committee has been set up to oversee
the project, a task force comprising representatives of
the Power Ministry, Central Electricity Authority and PGCIL
on the Indian side and the Sri Lankan Energy Ministry and
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) on the other, has been firmed
up to study the feasibility report and make recommendations
to the Committee.
Officials said Indian utilities could get higher tariffs
from electricity supplies to the country. Initially, surplus
power would be transmitted from India to Sri Lanka using
With NTPC Ltd, already working on a 500-MW coal fired plant
in Trincomalee, wheeling power from Sri Lanka to India could
also be a possibility over the long term, they said.
Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers had, early last year,
given its go-ahead to its Energy Ministry on the project
and the United States Agency for International Development
is reportedly extending technical assistance to Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka currently uses diesel — one of the most expensive
power generating resource — for nearly 65 per cent of its
power generation. The generation cost there is around Sri
Lankan Rupees 15 per unit (about Indian Rs 6.21 per unit),
according to CEB data. India currently has transmission
links with only Bhutan, as part of the 1,040 MW Tala hydroelectric
power evacuation system. The proposal to link-up countries
in the South Asian region is being seen as a forerunner
to the proposed BIMSTEC power transmission network, which
is under active consideration.