The Norachcholai coal-fired thermal power development project in Sri Lanka has been given the go-ahead by the Ceylon Electricity Board.

The Chinese government has approved the $500 million deal for the China National Machinery & Equipment Corp (CMEC) to develop the project.

The project will see 300 MW and 900 MW added to the network in two phases. The first phase, expected to cost $400 million, is due to be completed within 4 years. Ground breaking is expected to commence in November, construction is due to begin in January 2006.