PB Says Norochcholai Criticism Politically Manipulated – Tug Of War On Coal Power Plant

Giving a new twist to the ongoing controversy with regard to Norochcholai coal power plant, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara had said the present criticism is certainly a series of planned actions by some parties to disrupt the functions at the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant and gain political advantage.

“There have been other power plants such as Samanalawewa & Kothmale which have faced worse breakdowns and Kothmale was even closed for two years but no such criticisms were raised against them,” Dr. Jayasundara pointed out addressing a high profile meeting on the Norochcholai controversy which was held at the Auditorium of the Ministry of Finance and Planning  on February 06.

The meeting was attended by senior government officials including the Secretary of the Ministry of Power and Energy M.M.C. Ferdinando, CEB Chairman W.B. Ganegala and General Manager W.J.S.L. Fernando.

Dr. Jayasundara also said that there are also Combined Cycle Power Plants with such breakdowns recorded and even they have not been confronted with such criticism.

“It is clear that this situation is purely to gain political advantages by some groups. It is a politically manipulated situation to hinder the relationship between China and Sri Lanka.The parties responsible in doing such acts are not known but these acts are been done to discredit the government and the investment projects carried out by the present government,” the Treasury Secretary asserted adding that the Ministry of Finance and Planning closely monitoring the situation.

Expressing the current state of affairs in the Norochcholai power plant, M.M.C. Ferdinando, Secretary of the Power and Energy Ministry said the consultants, experts and all the other important stakeholders of the construction of the power plant are now in the country examining the situation. He said there was  a leakage in the condenser and that was the reason for the breakdown

He also said that the Finance Ministry was closely monitoring this situation.”One Parliamentarian had commented that even the debt could not be recovered by the Norochcholai power plant. Some people make such frivolous remarks without any knowledge of the mater,” he asserted.

Dr. Jayasundara’s comments came in the wake of certain remarks made by Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi who blamed China for power shortages and high electricity prices, saying Sri Lanka’s biggest power station built by a Chinese company has suffered frequent breakdowns.

Wanniarachchi had told international media that problems with the 300-megawatt coal-powered plant, the largest single electricity generator in the country, was forcing Sri Lanka's main state-run energy company to buy more expensive electricity from private firms.  "The coal power plant is breaking down frequently. We are asking the Chinese to fix it. These failures are not good for the image of China," she had said

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