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Rajapaksa orders quickening of India power plant project

The joint venture will see the construction of two power generators of 250 megawatts each

Press Trust of India  |  Colombo 

Fresh from his visit to for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in, Sri Lankan President today ordered officials to quicken the progress of a coal-fired power plant being built jointly with

Last October, and had announced the finalisation of USD 512 million joint venture coal-powered electricity plant in Sampur in the eastern port district of Trincomalee.

A statement from the President's office said that Rajapaksa had directed the Attorney General and the Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy to expedite the project.

The joint venture will see the construction of two power generators of 250 megawatts each.

At the signing of the deal last October in the presence of then External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, it was announced that the construction was to begin within a year and the plant was to be connected to the grid by 2018, providing cheaper electricity.

currently depends on expensive diesel-powered plants to meet its demand that cannot be fulfilled by hydroelectricity.

The joint venture had been dragging since 2005 due to "various issues", officials said.

appears keen to strengthen its relations with the BJP-led NDA government after a spell of soured relations with the previous Congress-led UPA.

The UPA had backed the previous US-moved UN human rights resolutions against Sri Lanka.

First Published: Wed, May 28 2014. 19:10 IST
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