Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Environmental effects of Desiccated coconut industry in Sri Lanka.

Gayesha Jayasinghe

The desiccated coconut (DC) industry is one of the major export oriented food processing industries in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the birthplace of the DC industry. The DC industry in Sri Lanka consists around 66 factories, which are mostly located in the coconut triangle.

Heat & electricity are the to main energy forms used in Dc mills. There are many wastes produce during the manufacturing process, such as coconut water, coconut shell, etc. They badly affected to the surrounding environment &the people who are living in those places. We can recover the affects to some amount by applied some technological options.

University of Sri Jayewardenepura (http://www.sjp.ac.lk)

Environmetal impacts of Rubber Industry in Sri Lanka

Chamila Parthiana

Rubber Industry is a major industry in Sri Lanka, which has a significant contribution to national economy. Also, Rubber Industry generates many employment opportunities to rural population having lower level of education. The technology used by most of raw rubber manufacturers is very old and this results in low productivity and high environmental damage which people to do not tolerate any longer.

A closer look reveals that rubber industry consumes large volumes of water, uses tons of chemicals and other utilities and discharges massive amounts of wastes and effluents. The few cleaner production assessments and implementation programs carried out in Sri Lanka has shown tremendous benefits. Some of them are lesser usage of chemicals, energy and utilities including water, improvement in productivity and profitability, lesser loads and volumes of effluent discharged to the neighborhood, better image and relationship with employees internally and with the neighborhoods externally.

These benefits should encourage many rubber industrialists to follow a cleaner production program in their own places. Many have realized cleaner production is the only way to survive in today's competitive market where cost of production is on the increase and prices are decreasing.

University of Sri Jayewardenepura (http://www.sjp.ac.lk)

Monday, May 22, 2006

Upper Kothamale Hydropower Project, Sri Lanka

Sulari Anthony

The upper hydropower project is a run of river hydropower project with an installed capacity of 150MW; consisting of two 75MW units and it will produce 528 per year. It has the following components; a dam, a headrace tunnel, an upstream surge tank, underground powerhouse, an outdoor switchyard and 200kV double circuit transmission line.

The upper Hydropower project (UKHP) was conceived with the preparation of a master plan for hydroelectric development in the Basin 1968. The environment impact Assessment (EIA) Report was issued in September, 1994. the Environment impact Assessment identified key issues associated with the UKHP as, impacts on water fall aesthetics due to stream flow reductions, social impacts due to resettlement of affected people, possible effects on ground water due to tunneling, impacts on bio-diversity.

Further detailed studies on alternatives were completed in 1996 and secretary of the Ministry of Forestry and Environment granted approval for the project under the National Environment Act in July 1998 subject to strict adoption of proposed mitigation measures to minimize possible environmental impacts, which included the development of a watershed management plan, maintenance of daytime flows over the waterfalls, monitoring of ground water levels, an resettlement program. This decision was challenged in the court of appeal, in October 1998. The secretary of the Ministry of Forestry and Environment gave final order in March, 2000, subsequent to the settlement of appeal.

The project is funded by Japan. The government of Sri Lanka secured financial support in March 2002 from the Government of Japan to implement the project, signing of loan Agreement SL – P 74 in March 28, 2002.

After, having being rejected three times, the Upper Hydropower project is now under construction, in order to generate 150 MW of electricity for the country in which, the demand for electricity has been growing at an annual rate of 7-8%.

Environmental effects of sand mining in Kelani River, Sri Lanka

Uthpala Wijemanna

Rivers are complex natural systems, which responsible for the natural balance or equilibrium by water discharging, and sediments depositing. So that river sand mining is directly affected to the natural equilibrium. It has estimated that the annual sand requirement of the country is nearly eight million cubic meters and it is growing at an annual rate of 10 per cent.

Kelani River can be considered as a one of the major rivers in Sri Lanka, which is badly affected by sand mining activities. Sand from the Kelani River has been used for many building purposes, and also extensively to cover telecommunication and other infrastructure networks in recent years.

Over-mining of Kelani river causes many problems like salination of Colombo's drinking water due to the intrusion of sea water into the river, collapse of river bank, loss of river land. It is difficult to totally ban sand mining practices in Kelani River, because many people living near the river is totally depending on this job and also there should be an alternative for the construction sector. So that the best way is minimizing the over mining the river or introduce the alternative to the river sand.

Environmental impacts on Sri Lanka by the Sethusamudram ship canal project

Gayathri Abhayarathne

The Sethusamudram ship canal project was proposed to implement in the year 2005 by Indian government. The National Environmental Engineering Institute (NEERI) of India did the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project. Before the Indian cabinet approved the project, it didn’t consult its all the stakeholders that have to be consulted while preparing the EIA report. When considering about the location of the canal to be dredge, its impacts will be directly on Sri Lanka. So Sri Lanka acts as a primary stakeholder of the project. But Sri Lankan government was got to know about the project after the Indian cabinet got the approval for that. Sri Lanka was objecting for the project due to dredging of the canal. When considering about the environmental impacts of the projects, its impacts will be on the richest marine biosphere, the Gulf of Mannar, which located between southern India and northern Sri Lanka. The environmental impact of the project on Sri Lanka and its legality must be assessed as Sri Lanka citizens.

Student Abstracts

Forestry and Environmental Science
B.Sc. (Special) Part I

Gayathri Abhayarathne
Dulmini Jayawardene
Thilina Jayarathne
Gayesha Jayasinghe
Uthpala Wijemanna
Sumedha Amarasena
Chamila Pathirana
Priyanwada Rathnayaka
Sulari Anthony

Norochcholai Coal Power Plant Sri Lanka

Dulmini Jayewardane

The main crisis faced by Sri Lanka in this 21st century is the power crisis. At present, hydropower produces 37% of electricity and the deficit of 63% is fulfilled by fuel. Yet, the demand for electricity increases by 10% each year.
Due to the price increase of fuel at the world market, Sri Lanka faces not only a power crisis but also financial constrains. As the production cost of producing electricity through coal power is lesser and the capacity that can be generated is higher than other modes such as windmills, firewood etc. the Sri Lankan government decided to go for a coal power plant. Finally, the
foundation stone of Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, to mark the official launch of the project was laid on 11th May 2006, with the aim of fulfilling the electricity need of people and to give electricity at a cheaper cost

The coal power plant is being constructed in the Southern end of Kalpitiya peninsula with the funds of China. It will be constructed in three stages, with a capacity of 300MW per plant per year, making a total capacity of 900MW by 2010. High quality low Sulphur containing coal is due to be supplied from Australia, South Africa and Indonesia.

For projects of the size and importance of the coal power plant, which can have considerable impacts on the environment, Sri Lankan legislation requires an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Report. The EIA report discusses the environmental issues relating to the coal power plant and evaluates its potential impacts on them. Major issues are the possible impacts on air, ground water, soil, marine water, terrestrial animals and vegetation, the coast and the coastline buildings and socio-economy due to the coal power plant. They are: the air getting polluted from gases like CO2, CO, NOx and SOx resulting from combustion of coal and also from particulate matter like fly ash, bottom ash, and coal dust; the ground water and soil getting contaminated from leachate through ash landfill, coal stock pile and waste waters; marine water from warm water discharge, coal falling from unloading, coal dust and
the fuel and greases from ships; coastal erosion and impact on buildings specially the St. Anne’s Church at Thalawila due to the jetty etc.

Mitigation measures are being proposed to control these possible impacts on the environment. Some of them are: to use low Sulphur containing coal to reduce the emission of SOx, Flue Gas Desulphurization equipment to absorb SO2, low NOx burners to control NOx emission, an Electrostatic Precipitator to collect fly ash, spreading water on coal piles to control coal dust, sealing of the base of ash landfill and coal stock yard to avoid leachate to ground
water and soil, drape a canvas between the unloading ship and the jetty to catch falling coal etc.

A major concern was that whether the jetty may affect the church but it has been shown that there will be no impact on it due to the jetty. Another concern was whether the warm water having a temperature of 70C above the intake temperature can affect marine water and animals. A computer program has revealed that there will be no such impact as the warm waters temperature will fall down to 0.50C within an area of 500m after discharged due to the rapid mixing with sea water.

Due to the mitigation measures that are being proposed the environment effects due to the coal power plant will be minimized. Therefore, it is ensured that there will be no harmful impacts on the environment due to this coal power plant. By this coal power plant general public, small industries and factories will get electricity at a lower cost, and most importantly as a country Sri Lanka will gain many years of development.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

B.Sc Forestry Sepecial Seminars

These seminars are held on Tuesdays from 10-12 at Forestry Auditorium, Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura
Visit our web site at http://www.EnvironmentLanka.com

Articles on Forestry, environment and biodiversity of Sri Lanka

This blog includes articles, assignments, seminar abstracts, research abstracts by B.Sc. and M.Sc. students of Department of Forestry and Environment Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka