Sri Lanka and India eyeing over-water power cable connection says Minister
Economynext: Sri Lanka and India are eyeing an over-water cable to link the power grids of the two countries, dropping an earlier plan for a submarine cable, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.
“There had been several proposals to interconnect the grids of India and Sri Lanka over the years,” Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told a reporter at a recent cabinet news briefing.
“They are still at the discussion level. At first, it was to be connected through a submarine cable. But due to cost issues, an overhead cable is now discussed with a shorter length.
“That is also at the discussion level.”Linking the India and Sri Lanka power grids had been discussed since the 1970s.
The new plan involves a joint venture between Power Grid Corporation India and the Ceylon Electricity Board.
The plan got renewed attention after 2002, United State Agency for International Development (USAID/South Asia Regional Initiative on Energy Project) and another feasibility study was also conducted in 2011 by Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd (PGCIL).
An earlier plan involves a 285 kilometre High Voltage Direct Current link from Madurai to Anuradhapura, with 50 kilometres of submarine cabling. Both the studies have concluded that a short term and a medium term link was more feasible than a long term one.The short-term link will generate 500MW and a medium and long-term link will be 1000MW between the two countries.
As per the studies based on the cost, the construction of a high voltage direct current (HVDC) link from Madurai to Anuradhapura was suggested. According to the PGCIL, the cost of constructing a short-term link (500MW) would be 340 million dollars while the longer/medium term link would cost 430 million dollars.
The two countries were initially planning to set up a 500MegaWatt cable at 340 million dollars and which would be upgraded to 1000MW later.
Sri Lanka’s power industry is fast becoming a hot spot for business/investment opportunities. Given the continuously increasing power demand in the country and the ongoing power crisis, there are many opportunities in Sri Lanka’s power industry. In the event an agreement is reached on the power cable connecting Sri Lanka and India, it would further expand the opportunities in Sri Lanka’s power industry while also increasing its business potential. Foreign businesses/investors could confidently explore the growing opportunities in Sri Lanka’s power industry.
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