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Indian HC agrees to consider matching Korean proposal: Rajitha

Sampur LNG power plant:

The Indian High Commissioner has agreed to consider matching the Korean proposal for the Sampur LNG power plant,Co-Cabinet Spokesperson and Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said yesterday as questions over the feasibility of the power plant agreed to in 2016 came up for discussion in Cabinet this week.

“We had a long discussion on the LNG plant. When President Maithripala Sirisena visited India last year, he told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Sampur 500 MW coal power plant cannot go through because as the Minister of Environment, he cannot approve it.

Therefore, he suggested that India build a LNG power plant instead. But India is not advanced in LNG plants. So they came up with a joint proposal with Japan,” explained Minister Senaratne.

The Minister was addressing the Cabinet media briefing at the Government Information Department.

In the meantime, Korea too had submitted their proposal for the Sampur power plant and this had proven to be more favourable than the Indian proposal.

“While the Korean proposal was more favourable, the government has come to an understanding that they will give the project to the Indian government”, said the minister as he stressed that the government could not strain diplomatic relations over a project.

He further explained that the President had asked the Indian High Commissioner to match their proposal with that of the Korean.

“Whatever the proposal, the President assured that it will be favourable to Sri Lanka,” Minister Senaratne said.

At present, Japan and Korea are the leaders in LNG technology.

“We stopped the Coal plant and asked then to go for LNG. We cannot stop this too,”the Co-Cabinet Spokesperson said as he justified the decision to continue with the Indian proposal.