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Steam leak forces coal fired power plant to shut down depriving 300MW

By Ifham Nizam

A breakdown of the third unit of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant Complex at Norochcholai yesterday resulted in a countrywide three-hour power cuts. However, power cuts would be limited to two and a half hours for the time being due to the availability of alternative energy sources, said the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) top management yesterday assured the Norochcholai plant would be back in operation on Saturday.

The PUCSL Chief told The Island politicians should understand that the country could not continue to be dependent on one base and that an energy mix was of paramount importance.

He also said that he stood by the remarks he made on fuel quality which led the Minister to threaten legal action against him. “I am ready for any action… I don’t go by social media remarks,” he added.

He said that the third plant of Norochchoali would be restored by Monday and the second plant would be back in operation during the first week of October.

The PUCSL has given approval for the Ceylon Electricity Board to purchase power from Private Plants until the Norochcholai Power Plant is restored.

Minister Wijesekera said the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation would provide diesel, naphtha, and furnace oil to the CEB to maintain power generation without extending the power cuts.

The daily power cuts were extended recently from 1 hour to 2 hours and 20 minutes.

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