President rejects request from allied parties to discuss Yugadanavi Power Plant deal

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has rejected a request made by 11 allied parties of the government for a discussion on the agreement signed between the Sri Lankan government and an American company regarding the Yugadanavi LNG power plant in Kerawalapitiya.

Many quarters including the opposition as well as ruling party members had expressed objections to the agreement signed with the US-based New Fortress Energy to handover a 40% stake in West Coast Power Limited, the company that owns the power plant to New Fortress Energy.

It is against such a backdrop that 11 government parties made a written request to the President to provide an opportunity to discuss the matter.

The request had been made by the Democratic Left Front (DLF), the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the National Freedom Front (NFF), the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), Ape Jana Bala Pakshaya, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), National Congress, Eksath Mahajana Party, Sri Lanka Communist Party, the Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya and the Yuthukama National Organization.

The letter requested the President to reconsider the agreement to hand over 40% of the Yugadanavi power plant to an American company and to implement the agreement following a proper tender procedure after a formal study.

The letter further stated that the monopoly of one company to generate electricity from gas through the agreement is a danger to the independence of the country.

However, President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has given a written response to the representatives of the allied political parties stating that it would be more appropriate to discuss this matter in the Cabinet or at a government party meeting.

However, President Rajapaksa has responded in writing to the representatives of those political parties stating that it would be more appropriate to discuss the matter in the Cabinet meeting or the ruling party meeting.

Furthermore, the letter states that the Secretary to the Finance Ministry and CEB officials would be instructed to brief them on this.

Meanwhile the President has also states that if there is any issue with the political decisions of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) they should take it up with either party leader Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa or national organizer Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

Accordingly, the party leaders have decided to meet on October 23 to discuss the meetings with the Premier and Finance Minister.

New Fortress Energy Inc. and the Government last month executed a definitive agreement for New Fortress’ investment in West Coast Power Limited (WCP), the owner of the 310 MW Yugadanavi Power Plant based in Colombo, along with the rights to develop a new Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Terminal off the coast of Colombo, the capital city.

Under the deal, New Fortress will acquire a 40% ownership stake of the power plant and plans to build an offshore liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification terminal located off the coast of Colombo.

According to Sri Lanka’s Marxist party, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), a contract has been awarded to New Fortress Energy without a tender to supply LNG for 10 years at a cost of US$ 6 billion. Under the agreement Sri Lanka has to pay whether it buys the gas or not.