Delaying H’tota LNG plant under Ranil’s orders | Daily News

Delaying H’tota LNG plant under Ranil’s orders

Power users lodge complaint with Bribery Commission :

The Electricity Users’ Association has lodged a complaint with the Bribery and Corruption Commission against the Yahapalana Government for causing a loss of Rs 3,360 billion to the country.

This is by surreptitiously delaying the construction of the most profitable LNG electricity project which had been systematically and legally approved by 2015.

The complaint lodged by Electricity Users’ Association Convenor Sanjeewa Dhammika said that responding to a tender published in the local and international media in August 2012 by a Cabinet approved committee, the Energy World International Limited (EWI) had submitted a project proposal to build a 1200 MW LNG Power Plant, a LNG Terminal and LNG Storage Complex with an investment of US$ 1350 million at the Hambantota Port Industrial Zone. After PC and CANC appraisal Cabinet approval had been granted to the proposal. After obtaining the Attorney Generals Department advice and recommendations, the Cabinet appointed a committee headed by Finance Ministry Secretary to implement the proposal.

Thereafter Cabinet approval was granted to appoint a joint company including Finance Ministry secretary to implement the proposal.

It was proposed to generate a unit of electricity at 7 cents US dollars (or Rs 10.50) without any burden on the government, It was agreed to add the first 300 MW plant to the National arid before the end of 2016, build the second 300 MW plant in 2018, third 300 MW plant in 2020 and fourth 300 MW plant in 2020.

Since this was the most profitable electricity project it was said the first 300 MW plant would save an annual saving of more than Rs 41 billion to the country once it is operated. After necessary environmental appraisal, 30 hectares in the Hambantota Port zone was vested in the EWI company by Port officials at an annual lease of 50,000 US dollars per hectare. But while the company was engaged in development work of the project, the former Prime Minister had temporarily suspended the project unlawfully and agreed to set apart the land necessary for the project from the Trincomalee Port area.

Thereafter another a joint Cabinet memorandum on the project had been submitted by the Ministries of Power and Renewable Energy Ports and Shipping Ministry and Petroleum Resources Development Ministry but the proposal had been temporarily halted by R Paskaralingam former head of the official Committee on Economic Management.

The complaint said this illegal action would cause a total loss of Rs 3,360 billion the country for the next 20 years from 2016.

After shelving this most profitable and environment friendly 300 MW X 4 LNG power plant, the former government had offered the construction of a 400 MW LNG plant at the Hambantota Port to China and a 500 MW LNG plant to Korea, India and Japan at Kerawalapitiya under the government to government label forcing the government to purchase power for the next 20 years without stating the unit cost.

The failure to implement this project will force the government to purchase emergency power at Rs.35 to Rs. 45 per unit or go for power cuts causing losses amounting several billions of rupees. As a result of this, CEB losses had amounted to more than Rs 80,000 million this year.

The complaint said this amounted to a large scale financial fraud which should be investigated without delay and legal action taken against those guilty after probing their assets.


Add new comment