India, Sri Lanka renew bid to link power grids

India and Sri Lanka are giving a fresh push to the long-pending power grid connectivity between the two countries to trade electricity.

Work has started on updating a detailed project report for the connectivity either through overhead line or undersea cable in the sea portion of the connectivity, following a meeting on the proposal last month, said people familiar with the matter.
The timeline for a draft detailed project report is September 15, after which it will be discussed between the two sides for finalisation, they said.

Sri Lanka will carry out the necessary load flow studies for 2027-28 time frame of its network, considering 500 MW exchange from India through the proposed link, according to the people. India will study the necessary load flow studies on the combined network data based on the inputs from the Sri Lankan side. This is likely to be completed by August 21.

The reports will then be discussed with the officials in the joint technical team, comprising members from the Central Electricity Authority, Power Grid Corporation of India Ltd and the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) formed in 2016.

The cross-border interconnection plan has been under discussion for nearly two decades now. It was marred by high project cost, making it unviable, according to people aware of the matter.