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Govt. trying to restore 165 MW Kelanitissa combined cycle power plant, which broke down last Oct.



By Ifham Nizam

The government will act fast to repair the much needed 165MW from the Kelanitissa Combined Cycle Power Plant and connect it to the national grid, Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma has assured.

Following his visit to the Plant, on Tuesday evening, Alahapperuma instructed engineers and technical experts to restore its power generation within the next few weeks.

The Minister also stressed that he would request the Indian government to expedite the shipment of necessary parts.

The Kelanitissa Power plant has been out of order since October 2019.

Engineers too expressed confidence that Plant could be restored within the next few weeks.

The Island

learns that parts of the plant were sent to India for repairs last year.

The plant was stopped due to a mechanical fault, and the machines have not been repaired. The delay in repairs was mainly due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Kelanitissa Plant has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the CEB and a 20-year fuel supply agreement with Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) until 2023.

The Sojitz Kelanitissa Power Station (also known as Sojitz Power Station, and AES Kelanitissa Power Station), is a privately-owned 172 MW diesel-fired combined cycle power station. It is owned by Sojitz Kelanitissa Private Limited, a subsidiary of Sojitz Corporation.The power station is located adjacent to the Kelanitissa Power Station, which is a separate government-owned power station.

The power station consists of two generation units, a GEPG9171E gas turbine with a nameplate capacity of 115 MW, and a 57 MW steam turbine manufactured by Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited. The construction was done by Larsen & Toubro.

Power generated by the power station are sold to the Ceylon Electricity Board under a 20-year take-or-pay power purchase agreement. The low-sulphur diesel is supplied through an existing pipeline by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, with 20,000 tons, or the equivalent of 28-days of full capacity operations, stored in case of any fuel shortage. The plant’s 20-year contract ends on October 10, 2023.

The economic analysis for the project was conducted in accordance with Asian Development Bank (ADB) guidelines.  

This analysis covers the period from the start of construction in 2001 with the commissioning date of 2003 and up to the end of the concession in 2023. All values are adjusted to reflect 2003 prices, since 2003 is the year of the commercial operation date.

Forecast data from 2011 to 2023 were adjusted to real terms using the 2.40% United States inflation forecast utilized in the 2011 financial model.

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Hemasiri’s counsel complains to PCoI against ex-President Sirisena’s media statement



… says it has placed the life of his client at risk

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Former President Maithripala Sirisena had placed ex-Defence Secretary Hemasiri Fernando’s life at risk by issuing a media statement that the evidence given by the latter before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating the Easter Sunday attacks was “malicious and fictitious”, Attorney-at-Law Dilshan Jayasuriya appearing for Fernando said yesterday.

Jayasuriya told the PCoI that by issuing that statement Sirisena had also undermined the PCoI.

Sirisena, on Sunday, issued a press release claiming that the testimony given by Fernando at the PCoI about his behavior was completely false.

“I vehemently deny what was said at the Commission by Fernando. These are malicious and fictitious statements and I wish to reiterate to the public that Fernando’s statements are false,” Sirisena said.

Counsel Jayasuriya pointed out that by disseminating such an idea, the former President was trying to intimidate the former Defence Secretary who was still testifying before the PCoI. Sirisena, who was a former President, a current Parliamentarian and a party leader, was powerful and thus, there were now concerns about the security of his client, Jayasuriya said.

The counsel said that it was up to the Commission to decide whether Fernando’s evidence was true or false.

Issuing of a statement undermining Fernando by Sirisena, who was the Commander-in-Chief, the Minister of Defence and the Minister in charge of law and order at the time of the Easter Sunday attacks, was a very bad precedent, the counsel for the ex-Defence Secretary said.

“The former President has been given the opportunity to crossexamine Fernando. However, he has issued press releases. People will be afraid to tell the truth openly if powerful people start issuing press releases on judicial matters,” counsel Jayasuriya added.

Jayasuriya requested the Commission that Sirisena’s Personal Secretary, Sameera de Silva, who issued this media statement, be summoned before the Commission. Silva should explain why he should not be charged with contempt of court. He also requested the Commission to take measures to ensure the safety of his client.

When the Commission asked the counsel appearing for the former President if he had anything to say in that regard, he said that he had not received any advice from his client. Accordingly, the Chairman of the Commission ordered that if there was anything to be said by Sirisena in that regard, it be presented before the Commission today through his legal representatives.

The Additional Solicitor General, who is leading Fernando’s evidence, also informed the Commission that she hoped to comment on the matter once the explanations were made by the former President.

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Kandy tragedy:



What remains of the building that collapsed

Ill-fated building constructed on loose soil

By Ifham Nizam

Structural engineers’ approval was essential for the construction of building in hilly areas, a senior scientist said.

The National Building Research Organization (NBRO) Director (Landslide Research and Risk Management Division) R.M.S. Bandara told The Island to ascertain the real cause of the building collapse in Kandy on Sunday, an investigation would be conducted within the course of this week. “Initially we thought that could be done in two days or so,” he said

Bandara said that they would work with the Kandy Municipal Council Building Department to find out whether the original plan of the structure had been changed.

According to Senior Chartered Geologist Laksiri Indritilake, who was at the site, the NBRO team was carrying out the technical inquiry into the incident. He said as per their observations the collapsed building was an ad-hoc construction which had been erected blocking a valley path.

“Water flows from above grounds via a valley path. From our preliminary observations, it was evident that this building has been constructed blocking such a valley path. No safety precautions had been taken.”

“The multi-storyed building has been constructed on loose layers of soil in the respective valley region, and the building had caved-in, as the soil layers could not bear the weight of the construction,” said Samantha Bogahapitiya – NBRO’s Geologist in-charge of the Kandy district.

According to him, four families in the area have been were temporarily relocated as a precaution measure.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the Geological and Mines Bureau, Anura Walpola said that the collapse had not been caused by a tremor.

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SJB MPs decide unanimously to oppose 20A



by Akitha Perera

The Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) would oppose the 20th amendment to the constitution to be presented to Parliament, today, Chief Opposition Whip, MP Lakshman Kiriella said yesterday.

The SJB had studied all the proposed amendment in detail and they couldn’t agree with any of them, he said. Therefore, the SJB had no choice but to work with like-minded forces inside and outside parliament to prevent the bill from becoming law, the MP said.

Kiriella said that SJB MPs HAS met yesterday in Parliament to discuss the matter and they unanimously agreed to oppose the amendment given the weakening of checks and balances imposed by the 19th amendment to the Constitution.

The Chief Opposition Whip said that the replacement of the constitutional council with a parliamentary council, the weakening of the independent commissions, increasing the powers of the executive presidency and removing a number of key institutions from the purview of the auditor general were proposals that would not be accepted by any democratic minded person.

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