The first private sector thermal power plant was commissioned recently in Colombo with the help of the government which added an additional 22.5 MW of power to Sri Lanka's national grid. Such efforts of the government is expected to reduce the country's over-dependence on hydro-power. Following the last year severe drought, the government has been urging the private sector to set up thermal power plants in the country. According to a Central Bank report, the energy sector in Sri Lanka experienced a major crisis during 1996. The hydro power generation was severely affected during the first three quarters of the year. It was mainly due to the failure of the northeast monsoon, inconsistent southwest monsoon and dry weather conditions in the first quarter of the year. The report says that acute power shortages experienced during the first three quarters of the year severely affected the country's economy.

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