Norocholai Coal Power Station, Sri Lanka

Norochcholai Power Plant is the first Sri Lanka's Coal Power Plant. The implementation of the central is causing several environmental effects and is affecting the livelihoods of the population living in the surrounding area.


Description

Norocholai Power Station is a coal-fired power station in Norocholai, Puttalam, Sri Lanka. The plant, also known as Lakvijaya Power Station, is the Sri Lanka’s largest coal-fired power station.

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Basic Data
NameNorocholai Coal Power Station, Sri Lanka
CountrySri Lanka
ProvinceNorth Western province, Puttalam district
SiteNorocholai
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Fossil Fuels and Climate Justice/Energy
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Coal extraction and processing
Transport infrastructure networks (roads, railways, hydroways, canals and pipelines)
Specific CommoditiesCement
Coal
Electricity
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsNorocholai Power Plant runs to its maximum capacity a quantity of 750,000 metric tons of coal per year for a 300 megawatt generator (phase 1). Considering that there are three generators (300 MW each) the total requirement of coal is be 2,250,000 metric tons per year.

A 300MW power plant uses 2,640 tons of coal daily that can produce result in about 180 tons of fly ash and 40 tons of ground ash.

300 MW requires 2640 MT of coal daily. The 900 W coal power plant will burn 7920 MT daily. Each tonne of Coal produces 7186 pounds of CO2 assuming that 98% of the coal combustion happens. So the Norochcholai Coal plant will emit 28456 tonnes CO2 daily. This calculations show that 900 MW Coal plant will result Sri Lanka increase CO2 to 0.5 tonnes per capita.
Project Area (in hectares)93
Level of Investment (in USD)1,350,000,000.00
Type of PopulationSemi-urban
Potential Affected Populationabout 2000 families
Start Date1990
Company Names or State EnterprisesCeylon Electricity Board (CEB) from Sri Lanka
Lanka Coal (Pvt) from Sri Lanka
China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) from China - constructor
Noblel Resources - coal supplier
Relevant government actorsFormer Minister of Power and Energy (Pavithra Wanniarachchi)

Ministries of Power and Energy, Finance and Planning,

Defence and Urban Development

Geology Unit of the Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources Management

Central Engineering Consultancy Bureau (CECB)

UNP United National Party
International and Financial InstitutionsExport-Import Bank of China (EXIM Bank of China) from China - financier
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersCentre for environmental justice (Sri Lanka)

Puttalam People's Voice (PPV)

All Island General Fisheries Federation

Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna

Sri Lanka Environmentall Congress

CEB trade unions

National Electricity Consumers Movement
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingInternational ejos
Religious groups
Farmers
Local ejos
Social movements
Fishermen
Local government/political parties
Trade unions
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
Local scientists/professionals
Industrial workers
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Women
Informal workers
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Blockades
Community-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil erosion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Mine tailing spills
Health ImpactsVisible: Accidents, Other Health impacts
Potential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Otherproblems due to the exposition to the ash-filled air (discomfort in the eyes, asthma, breath disease, coughs)
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Social problems (alcoholism, prostitution, etc..), Specific impacts on women
Outcome
Project StatusUnder construction
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject temporarily suspended
Project implemented. Construction of the power plant took place in 2006
Development of AlternativesDevelopment of renewable energy systems (wind power, solar power and mini hydro) to face growing local energy need.
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.The president stopped the construction of the Norochcholai Coal Power plant in 2000 due to unresolved social, environmental as well as technical issues, however the construction of the power plant took place in 2006. To this days the power plant is working and the government is implementing the III phase of the plant.
Sources and Materials
Links

Newspaper article from: Sunday Observer. By Shirajiv Sirimane. Two major development projects from November. 24th October 2010
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Article from Source Watch (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/SourceWatch:Purpose): collaborative and specialized enciclopedia by Center for Media and Democracy (http://www.prwatch.org/). Lakvijaya Power Plant.
[click to view]

Wikipedia: Lakvijaya Power Station
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Newspaper article from Daily mirror. By Hiran Priyiankara Jayasinghe. Norochcholai fisher folk don’t want power line. 18th July 2012
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Article from Centre for Environmental Justice. By Hemantha Withanage. Proposed Norochcholai Coal Power plant. Why they opposed? September 2004
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Article from Centre for Environmental Justice. By Hemantha Withanage. Coal, renewables and the CO2 meter How Sri Lanka is increasing its Carbon emission? 10th September 2009
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Official website of Sri Lanka Ministry of Power and Energy
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Scribd.com Effects of Norochcholai power plant project
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Newspaper article from Ceylon Today. By Ruwan Laknath Jayakody. Norochcholai third phase hits a snag. 6th November 2014
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Newspaper article from Huffington Post. By Bob Burton. A New Coal Power Station the Coal Industry Won't Boast About. Posted on 15th September 2014, updated 15th November 2014
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Newspaper article from The Island. By Dr Janaka Ratnasiri. Coal power – costs, impacts and the future. 28th February 2011
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Newspaper article from Asia News. By Melani Manel Perera. Government impoverishing Norochcholai in order to build a coal power station. 28th November 2007
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Newspaper article from Sunday Times. By Nadia Fazlulhaq. Monsoon blows foul emissions landward, covering crops, houses with ash
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Newspaper article from: BBC Sinhala, Residents oppose HSZ in Norochcholai, 24th April 2005
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Newspaper article from The Sunday Leader.By Rasika Jayakody. PSC Sought On Norochcholai. December 2013
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Newspaper article from News first. By Melissa Somawardana. Fishermen protest plans to lay electric line across Puttalam estuary. 1st June 2014
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Other Documents

Bananas covered in ash from the Norochcholai plant
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Coconut trees and bananas covered in ash from Norochcholai Power Plant
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Fishermen protest plans to lay electric line across Puttalam estuary Fishermen in the Puttalam estuary area staged a demonstration on June 2014 against a project to lay a new electric line from the Norochcholai Power Plant across the estuary. Video by News first
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorCentre for Environmental Justice (Colombo, Sri Lanka) and Paola Camisani (EJOLT team, Barcelona)
Last update23/03/2015
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