China bank funds Sri Lankan hydro project

A Sri Lankan hydropower project has obtained funding to go ahead from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and insurance coverage from the China Export and Credit Insurance Corporation.

The loan from the ICBC, which will cover around 85 per cent of the $82m project, was approved this week by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Power and Energy.

The 35 MW run-of-river Broadlands plant is being built on the Kelani River at Kithulgala, 90 km northeast of Colombo. Once completed, it is expected to generate around 137 GWh per year.

The dam is planned to be 24 metres high and 114 metres long, while the tunnel of the complex will be 3.5 km in length and 5.4 metres in diameter.

Construction work has already begun, and is reportedly around 10 per cent completed. The project is slated for commissioning in late 2017, and will likely be the country’s last major hydropower undertaking as most of its potential has now been developed. However, the government says there is still around 400 MW of potential for development of small hydro plants.

According to the Ceylon Electricity Board, the nation has 1361 MW of installed hydropower capacity.


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