CEB starts Kukule Ganga construction

Sri Lanka`s state-owned electricity monopoly, the Ceylon Electricity Board, has started construction on the $215m, 80 MW Kukule Ganga hydropower project. The project, which will be situated in the south of the Kukule river, will generate an estimated annual average of 317 GWh of power.

The project is being financed mainly by Japan`s Overseas Economic Cooperation Fund, which will provide $195m. The balance will be borne by the CEB. The construction contract for the project has been awarded to AB Skanska of Sweden, while the contract for building diversion facilities was won by a joint venture of Kajima, Kumugai and Hazma Corp. of Japan.

The project is due to be completed by the end of 2002. The reservoir will inundate 120 hectares, affecting 50 families. The powerhouse will be located 200 m below ground level.

The repair of leaks to the dam of the Samanalawewa reservoir in Sri Lanka allowed the CEB to activate the plant`s third 60 MW unit in June to help meet peak demand. The reservoir developed leaks after commissioning in 1992, resulting in a drop in generation of 133 GWh of power annually.