India has told Sri Lanka that it can help put up a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG )-fired power plant as desired by Sri Lanka at Sampur or any other location, But at the same time, it has conveyed to it the need to ponder over the pitfalls in switching over from coal to LNG, the New Indian Express reported.
This will be conveyed at a meeting of the Joint Working Group (JWG) which might be held in October either here or in New Delhi, informed sources have told.
When President Maithripal Sirisena met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May this year, Sirisena requested Modi to call off the coal-fired power project on environmental grounds. Modi said that he would ask his officials to consider the matter. Subsequently, a Joint Working Group (JWG) was set up for bilateral discussions on the question. But the JWG has not met to date. But earlier this week, the Sri Lankan government told the Supreme Court in a case filed by environmentalists, that it has decided not to go for a coal-fired plant in Sampur.
This unilateral decision jolted the Indians. But they have been telling the Sri Lankans that they are ready to help set up an LNG-fired plant despite reservations about LNG’s suitability for Sri Lanka. Keen to be a player in the energy field in Sri Lanka, the Indians had sent a team from the public sector PetronetLNG Ltd.,to discuss the witch over to LNG with the Sri Lankans.
But an issue that the Sri Lankans will have to think deeply about is that LNG has to be imported and stored in terminals and conveyed to the power plant through a pipelines. If LNG is to be brought from Qatar or Kochi, Kerawalapitiya in the Western Province would be a better location for the power plant rather than Sampur in the Eastern Province. (New Indian Express)