Friday, July 1, 2022
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Norochcholai Power Plant out of operation again triggering more cuts

The 900-megawatt (MW) coal-fired Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant, more commonly known as the all ways breakdown Norochcholai Coal Power Plant has to shut down due to technical fault as usual compelling the Ceylon Electricity Board CEB) to increase the duration of power cuts and introduce price hike soon

It was reported that since the plant was commissioned in December 2011, the plant, which was built by China Machinery and Engineering Corporation (CMEC), experienced more than 20 breakdowns. As a result, the CEB incurred significant financial loss.

The latest shutdown was announced recently with a generator at the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant shut down on June 17, 2022 for essential maintenance.

According to the CEB, Unit 2 will be out of operation for at least 75 days; consequently, the electricity supplied by the coal power plant to the national grid is expected to drop from 45 percent to 30 percent.

Due to the latest shutdown, the national grid would lose 270MW and thermal power plants would have to increase generation to meet the demand.

The Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said that the electricity tariff would be increased in a manner that would not be unfair to low income earners who use between 30 and 60 units of electricity.

He stated that the power cuts from today will be limited to two hours and 30 minutes between 12 noon to 10.30 pm.

The recent shutdown was announced with a generator at the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant out of order on June 17, 2022 for essential repairs and the CEB doesn’t have money to import spare parts required for power plants,” said Eng. Eranga Kudahewa, the Co-Representative of the CEB Engineers Union

CEB needs about US$ 640 million to import coal required by the Lakvijaya coal power plant to produce electricity after next year.

We don’t know how the Board will arrange the money. Therefore, we will have to rely completely on diesel power plants. Otherwise, the duration of power cuts will increase,” he warned

.According to the CEB, Unit 2 will be out of operation for at least 75 days; consequently, the electricity supplied by the coal power plant to the national grid is expected to drop from 45 percent to 30 percent.

Due to the latest shutdown, the national grid would lose 270MW and thermal power plants would have to increase generation to meet the demand.

In addition, it was also reported that Sri Lanka needs around US$ 640 million to import coal required to the Lakvijaya coal power plant to produce electricity next year, compelling it to rely completely on diesel power plants. Otherwise, the duration of power cuts will increase.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said that the country spent 100 million US dollars a month to generate thermal power using diesel, which is an expenditure that the country can’t bear.

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