Daily three-hour power cuts from today
400 MW lost due to Norochcholai, Kerawalapitiya breakdownsJuly 22, 2012, 12:00 pm
By Ravi Ladduwahetty
Power cuts will commence in selected areas countrywide from today following the breakdowns in the Norochcholai and Kerawalapitiya power plants, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has said.
The 300 MW Norochcholai coal power plant broke down around 8.30 p.m. on Saturday night. The CEB had been waiting till the plant cooled down to ascertain what the problems were, Ceylon Electricity Board Chairman Prof. Wimaladharma Abeywickrema told The Island last evening.
He said that it would be impossible to say how long it would take to repair the plant.
"The plant is now under observation," he said.
Dr. Abeywickrema said that the Kerawalapitiya power plant had been partially out of commission for around two weeks and the spares would be arriving in Sri Lanka on Wednesday (25). The CEB was, he said, confident that the plant would be fully operational by Saturday (28). According to him, the CEB had been running the Kerawalapitiya power plant on the open cycle basis which does not give the full capacity and is also more expensive.
Meanwhile, the Systems Control Department of the CEB will announce the areas where the power cuts will be effected and the duration. The CEB Chief added that the minimum power cut in each of the specified areas would be at least three hours.
Abeywickrema said that predominantly thermal power was being used as there was not enough hydropower. Thermal power contributed 85 per cent of the national power requirement. The Kerawalapitiya combined cycle power plant yielded 270 Megawatts. A further 300 Megawatts were provided by the Norochcholai plant. However, urgent repairs to Kerawalapitiya after it broke down on July 02, have enabled the restoration of 170 Megawatts from July 12.
The total loss from the two plants amounted to 400 Megawatts and that had necessitated the power cuts, the Chairman said.
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