Tuesday, June 18, 2024

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Norochcholai power plant breakdown to trigger five hour power cut  

Mysterious breakdown of Norochcholai power plant on Tuesday 03 at a time where the Ceylon Electricity Board has occurred at a time where  the energy ministry  has cleared a coal shipment anchored at the Colombo Port for several days.

It  will trigger extended power cuts despite the new Energy Minister’s assurance of no such electricity interruptions .

Minister Kanchana Wijesekera told a media conference that, no further extensions will be made to the rolling power interruptions owing to the situation,although  the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has informed of a technical breakdown in one of the power plants at Norochcholai, Minister of Energy Kanchana Wijesekera.

The national grid loses a total of 270 MW as a result of the breakdown.ter Wijesekera stated that repairs are under way at present. He assured that the power plant in question will be reconnected to the national grid within a period of five days.

However the people are bemused as there being misinformed about the actual situation by the Energy Minister and CEB officials. 

Minister Wijesekera said the CEB informed him of a technical breakdown in one of the 270MW power plants in Norochcholai.

The Minister said that the CEB has commenced repair work and assured that they will reconnect it within 5 days.He also said that despite the breakdown the CEB will manage the ongoing power cuts without further extensions by using thermal and hydro power plants.

The Norochcholai coal power plant has faced multiple breakdowns since it was commissioned with Chinese assistance in 2011.Sufficient stocks of Coal to run the Norochcholai Power Plant have been imported to the country as of now, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said. 

According to CEB Spokesperson Andrew Nawamani, two million metric tonnes of Coal were imported to the country from South Africa and Russia.The Coal reserves are sufficient to run the Norochcholai Power Plant until September this year, the CEB noted.

It was unclear as to whether the government has cleared the stocks from two coal ships which were  anchored off the coast of Sri Lanka from April 08 awaiting payment and were  to sail away on April 18 

The shippers have to be paid 80 percent of the value when the shipment arrives, documents are submitted.Sri Lanka’s CEB has been running three 300MW coal plants at the Lakvijaya complex in Puttalam providing the base load for at least several hours of electricity at a lower cost.

If the coal ships left ,the CEB may have to shut down one of the coal plants from May 2022, sources said, worsening a power and economic crisis.

This matter should be clearly clarified by the CEB without stating that they have sufficient stocks, energy experts said.   

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