Rebooting Norochcholai won’t reduce power cuts – CEB

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The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said, starting up the first unit of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant Complex will have no effect on the duration of power outages.

CEB Spokesman Andrew Navamani noted that once the urgent maintenance at Norochcholai Power Plant is completed, the unit will be brought back online, but this will not help reduce the number of hours of power outages.

He noted that the reason they are unable to reduce the duration of blackouts is because the amount of diesel  they are receiving is very limited and is still not receiving the full capacity of hydropower as expected.

When asked when the first unit of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant Complex will be back online, he said that he cannot give a specific timeframe because CEB cannot estimate the time required for maintenance.

Nawamani also highlighted that Norochcholai’s problem had been solved because hydropower plants now generate more than half of the electricity required.

The first unit had been shut down for annual routine maintenance, but a few technical issues had caused a delay in completing repairs on time. Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera previously said that CEB had begun repairs and the plant would be operational on 8 May. However, according to the Public Utilities Commission’s Chairman Janaka Rathnayake, the plant was supposed to be reconnected to the national grid by 22May. 

By Thameenah Razeek