President orders probe on Norochcholai breakdown even after $3.84 mn repair

President orders probe on Norochcholai breakdown even after $3.84 mn repair

President orders probe on Norochcholai breakdown even after $3.84 mn repair

Written by Chathuranga Hapuarachchi

24 Feb, 2020 | 10:46 pm

Colombo (News 1st) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructs a special unit to be assigned to investigate and ascertain whether the power plant in Norochcholai experiencing sudden breakdowns are solely for the need of private power purchasing.

Cabinet Co Spokesperson Minister Bandula Gunawardena said on Monday as the much-talked power plant continue to stay off-grid even after a $3.84 million repair.

The Lakvijaya power plant’s unit one has been out of operation for the past 10 days soon after it resumed activities following a Level B repair which cost $3.84 million.

This, however, has included the repair activities that had been carried out on an Electro-Static Precipitator (ESP). The cabinet of Ministers on the 5th of November last year decided to award an unsolicited proposal and award a contract to M/s China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) for a “level B maintenance” to be carried out on the unit 1 of the plant.

While the repair activities should have been completed by the 15th of January 2020, it concluded on the 4th of February, officials told News 1st.

Engineers said that at least 6 Gigawatt hours (Gwh) of hydropower are required for each day that unit 1 of the Lakvijaya plant is non-operational. Thereby, 120 Gwh has been utilized during the 20 days that were taken extra for the maintenance to be completed.

“That is 10% of the total hydropower capacity used in merely 20 days. 10% of the total hydropower capacity used purely as a result of a breakdown,” said an official who did not want to be named.
“This has taken place at a time when the hydropower needs to be conserved and putting more pressure on the authorities to go on emergency power purchasing.”

Presently, unit one of the Lakvijaya power plant is not in operation, 10 days after it resumed activities following a Level B repair.

Ceylon Electricity Board Spokesperson, Sulakshana Jayawardena , Speaking to News1st said that the Norachcholai power plant which broke down ten days after it initially resumed work will recommence tomorrow.

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