The first phase of the estimated US$82M project will commence later this month, said the minister. The Kotmale plant was delayed due to opposition from the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC), a group that represents Indian origin families living in the country’s upper plantation areas.

But after thorough talks, a CWC spokesperson announced that the party is satisfied with the project’s environmental safeguards. Feasibility studies have already been made, and implementation will follow shortly.

The project is scheduled to be completed before 2010 and is expected to generate 435GWh/yr.

Premajayantha said that implementation of the project will include the re-settlement of families that will be displaced, with 195 houses set to be built for this purpose.