‘No Coal – No Power’ : Coal shipment delayed to early January 2023

‘No Coal – No Power’ : Coal shipment delayed to early January 2023

‘No Coal – No Power’ : Coal shipment delayed to early January 2023

Written by Staff Writer

27 Dec, 2022 | 8:43 am

COLOMBO (News 1st) –  Multiple factions allege that motives to commit fraud are linked to the state's delay in procuring coal on time for the continuous operation of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, which is the main power plant in the entire country.

A coal shipment is expected to reach Sri Lanka on the 5th of January 2023, and according to marine traffic data the bulk carrier with coal had left a port in Mozambique on Sunday (25) bound to Sri Lanka.

What is the Coal Crisis & why is coal so important to us?

The coal shipment bound to Sri Lanka from Mozambique will determine if the Norocohcholai Coal Power will continue to operate, as it generates a lions share of the electricity demand in the country.

A shortage of coal will eventually lead to a complete shutdown of the power plant.

The bulk carrier Darya Rama carrying a shipment of coal had left the Port of Maputo in Mozambique at 7:40 AM on Sunday (25), and it expected to lay anchor off the coast of Puttlam at around 4:00 PM on the 5th of January 2023.

The vessel was originally scheduled to dock in Sri Lankan on Wednesday, however certain delays had pushed back its arrival date to somewhere between the 3rd and 5th of January 2023.

The Chairman of Lanka Coal Company (Private) Limited on the 22nd of December 2022 said that when this shipment reaches Sri Lanka, the existing stocks of coal would have already been exhausted.

How much of coal does the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant need to operate on any given day?

The Norochcholai Power Plant has three generators, and each of these generators will require 2,500 MT of coal. That means a total of 7,500 MT of coal per day.

By the 22nd of December, the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant had around 100,000 MT of coal.

If the Norochcholai Power Plant were to operate at full capacity, it would have run out of coal by the 2nd or 3rd of January 2022.

However, authorities suddenly decided to shut down on generator at the Norochcholai Power Plant from the 22nd of December 2022, citing maintenance requirements.

What happens when one generator is shutdown?

When one generator at the Norochcholai Power Plant is shutdown it saved 2,500 MT of coal per day, allowing uninterrupted operations of the power plant until the coal shipment arrives.

How do the authorities plan to recover the electricity lost by shutting down one generator?

Sri Lanka will have to source 270 MW of electricity from alternative source.

Is this a profitable move or a loss making move?

Obviously, it is a loss making move.

It only costs between Rs. 50/- to Rs. 55/- to generate one unit of electricity using coal, however the cost to generate electricity using diesel is twice of that amount.

As one generator of the Norochcholai Coal Power is shutdown, the cost borne by consumers has also doubled.



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