THE SUNDAY TIMES: CEB union: Rishad eyeing wind farm land

The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) has protested over an alleged request made by Industry and Commerce Minister Rishad Bathiudeen to release a section of land set aside for a 100 MegaWatt (MW) wind farm project in Mannar.

The CEBEU lodged a protest with Power and Energy Minister Ravi Karunanayake this week over the request made by Minister Bathiudeen, Union President Saumya Kumarawadu said.

He said the wind farm, the largest such project undertaken in the country, would be at serious risk if the Power and Energy Ministry granted the request made by Minister Bathiudeen.

“The project stands to save Rs.100 billion to the country every year as the CEB will be able to generate electricity at about Rs.8 per unit from the farm. If Minister Bathiudeen’s request is granted, we may only be able to generate about 40MW of the 100MW that had originally been planned,” Mr Kumarawadu claimed.

Mannar is one of the most suitable areas to build wind farms in the country, the CEBEU President noted, adding that he could not see any reason why Minister Bathiudeen would ask for land in the area to be released “unless it is for the construction of another, private wind farm.”

Neither Minister Karunanayake nor Minister Bathiudeen was available for comment.

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