India, Srilanka agree on a 500 MW power plant

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Colombo, Feb 14 (UNI) India and Sri lanka have entered into an agreement to build a 250 million dollar power plant in Veloor in the eastern Sri Lankan district of Trincomalee.

According to the agreement signed here yesterday, the first of the two 250 MW units will be commissioned by April 2012, and the second in July that year, Daily News reported.

The coal-fired power plant will be a joint venture between Indian power utility giant, National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to be signed in April this year, following which the NTPC will be given the contract to do the feasibility report, the national newspaper said.

''The project for which a Memorandum of Agreement was signed in December 2006, is behind schedule by a year. Therefore, India is keen on expediting it,'' the report quoted Indian Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh.

The southern Indian power grid and the Sri Lankan grid would be integrated and talks for this would take place in New Delhi next week, Ramesh said.

He said India believed in laying a strong economic foundation to bilateral relations, and that it was not going to insist on reciprocity in economic matters, according to the report.

India also offered to electrify three villages in Sri Lanka with non-conventional energy as a technology demonstrator and also as a gesture of goodwill, it said.

UNI XC SLD MIR KP1713

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