PM discusses resumption of Lower Malwathu Oya project
Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena discussed the possibility of early resumption of the Lower Malwathu Oya hydro-solar-electricity-irrigation project as a public-private partnership project with foreign investments.
The Chinese investors who built the Yan Oya Dam called on the Prime Minister at the Temple Trees yesterday (11) to discuss the Prime Minister’s proposal to install solar panels on the Yan Oya Reservoir as well as the proposed Malwathu Oya Reservoir to generate 100 megawatt of electricity and irrigate 22,000 hectares in the Anuradhapura and Trincomalee districts.
The Chinese investment team headed by Senior Business Manager Andrew Yang said Yan Oya Reservoir could be used as a mega solar-power generation platform by installing floating solar panels. Such a project could generate electricity for the national grid and also earn funds for completion of the Lower Malwathu Oya project.
The proposed project cost will be US$ 160 million and in the first phase, floating solar panels will be placed on the Yan Oya Reservoir and generate 50 megawatt electricity that could be sold to the National grid.
Once the Malwathu Oya Reservoir is completed in two years, solar panels could be installed to adder another 50 megawatts. In addition to that Malawathu Oya mini-hydro system will generate 1.6 megawatts.
Former Minister S.M. Chandrasena said the first survey and feasibility study for the Lower Malwathu Oya project was done more than a decade ago when he was Deputy Minister of Irrigation. He thanked the Prime Minister for the steps taken to resume the project that would irrigate land in the Anuradhapura and Trincomalee districts to boost rice and cash crop production.
The Chinese investors would assist the farmers to grow rice and cash crops and export part of the produce to China.
Additional Secretary Mahinda Gunaratne and senior officials and project evaluators also took part in the discussion.
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