A. The Kerawalapitiya plant is a combined power cycle plant. The first 200 megawatts is generated with furnace oil. The exhaust from the first phase is to be converted into steam to generate another 100 megawatts. The first phase is already in operation and the second phase will be operational soon. The cost of setting up this plant will thus be distributed over the entire 300 megawatts.
A. The pricing of electricity is done on a pre-determined formula which includes the price of furnace oil as well. Therefore, no one can set out a specific amount forever, since the price of furnace oil changes regularly. At current fuel oil prices, the unit cost, although higher when only the first phase of the plant is operational, will decline to around Rs. 14 to 16 per unit, when the Phase 2 of the Kerawalapitiya power plant is in operation. The Kerawalapitiya power plant is owned by West Coast Power Ltd in which 56% is held by the Government, 10% by LECO, 24% by EPF and 4% by Lakdanavavi Co.
Q. Then we come to the question of the four FLYOVERS. The costs that are said to have been incurred is Rupees 2,000 million for the Kelaniya flyover, 1,200 million for the Nugegoda flyover, 900 million for Dehiwala, 1,000 million for the Orugodawatte – all this is said to be in a situation where the international price for such a flyover would be Rs 400 million each.
Q. There is said to have been a 16 million dollar contract to supply COMPUTERS to divisional secretariats. The computers supplied are said to be locally assembled machines with no brand name and most are said to be out of order and unusable now.
A. I wouldn't like to speculate on that, but in this instance, you will see that some one will resist paying, only if that person is honest and incorrupt, which means, that there is no occasion for anyone to receive any kickbacks for paying up. If someone was in a hurry to make these payments, allegations could be made. In this case, since no money has been paid, there cannot be allegations of kickbacks. But, let me reiterate that I am concerned that an arbitrary amount of 230 billion is being floated around, which could be done possibly with a view of such persons making those payments at some later date.
A. The global airline industry went through one of the toughest periods in its history in 2008/9. If any airline had made money, it would be an exceptional case. All airlines, Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, all made losses. In fact Japan Airlines is now on the brink of failure, with its share price dropping from 356 Yen a few months ago, to just 8 Yen on Thursday. There were less travelers, so flights had to be cut back. Flights had lower loads. There were massive increases in fuel charges. The entire expenditure on fuel could not be recovered from customers. There was the high price of oil in the first part of the year, and less passengers in the second part of the year. These factors impacted heavily on all airlines.
A. The Airport and Aviation Services has spent just 9 million Rupees (not 500 million) for the initial work relating to the Weerawila airport. This includes the environmental impact assessment as well. Once the EIA was completed, and the location was found to be unsuitable, the project was shifted to Mattala. There is nothing unusual in this. A location has to be studied to determine whether it is suitable for such a project.
A. From what I have learnt, this capital expenditure is not for a wild life reserve but for a theme park which will feature animals like lions and zebras which are not found in the wild here. There are theme parks like this in several other countries too. Investments of this nature are quite common in many countries trying to develop tourism.