The Indian Government is exploring an option to set up an overhead electricity link with Sri Lanka to supply power to the island nation. The change in strategy is being considered after an earlier plan for an undersea power transmission link proved to be prohibitively expensive.
Cross-border energy trade is a key part of India’s South Asia focused neighbourhood-first policy. The electricity link is part of India’s strategy to negate China’s growing influence in the Indian Ocean region and South Asia.
Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has an installed power generation capacity of 35.8GW. India has an installed power generation capacity of 360.45GW, with the national grid able to transfer 99GW of electricity from anywhere in the country.
The initial plan is for a 1000MW link running from Madurai in Tamil Nadu to Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka’s north-central province. The sea crossing would be 30km long.