Sri Lankan Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and Zeng XingL

Sri Lankan Irrigation and Water Resources Management Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva and Zeng XingLiang, vice president of Sinohydro, sign the Moragahakanda reservoir agreement.

Sri Lanka has awarded Chinese contractor Sinohydro a US$ 250 million contract to construct the headworks for the 521 million m3 Moragahakanda reservoir.

The engineering, procurement and construction contract is part of the government's Mahaweli River Development Programme - a multipurpose development consisting of five dams (Kotmale, Victoria, Randenigala-Rantambe, Maduru Oya and Moragahakanda) and the installation of 600 MW of hydroelectric capacity.

The Moragahakanda reservoir will provide irrigation water facilities to 81422 ha, and will also include the instillation of 20 MW of hydroelectric capacity. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Sri Lanka's Irrigation & Water Resources Management Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva, said at a signing ceremony that the government was grateful for the assistance given by China.

"In a few years we hope to become a country that will not depend on foreign loans and fund our own development," the Minister is reported to have said.

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