N’cholai maintenance shut down costly

By Ifham Nizam

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has paid an additional Rs. 3,840 million during the past 47 days to purchase power from private thermal producers to meet the shortfall owing to the shutting down of 300MW first coal fired power plant at Norochcholai, an organisation that fights for the welfare of electricity consumers says.

National Movement of Electricity Consumers, Convener Bandula Chandrasekara told The Island that its estimates were based on the additional cost of Rs. 80 million per day, while the Norochcholai plant was undergoing annual maintenance.

He said that when the plant was shut down on August 21, authorities had said that it would be re-commissioned within 40 days, but it had been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances. "I have information that re-commissioning would be further delayed, despite assurance by the authorities that it would be back in operation next week."

Meanwhile, energy sector officials blamed the regulatory authority of the power sector, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUSCL) for being mum on ‘waste’. "It is high time the PUCSL put its foot down as a further delay would place further burdens on the electricity consumers," he added.

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