‘Norochcholai Still Unable To Reach Full Capacity’ – Consumer Movement Says Crisis Has Deepened

Although the Ceylon Electricity Board has stated that Nororchcholai coal power plant will recommence operations by the end of this month, Convener of the Electricity Consumers Movement Bandula Chandrasekera says the coal power plant will not reach its full capacity when it resumes operations.

“The total capacity of the first phase of the Norochcholai coal power plant is 300 MW. But according to inside information I have received, the coal power plant will generate only 200 MW when it resumes operations,” he told 'Asian Mirror'. 

“There was a problem with the cooling condenser of the plant and it has not been sorted out yet. The CEB has done a ‘quick fix’ to recommence the operations soon as they know that there is a shortage of hydro-power generation in the offing due to lack of rain” Chandrasekera explained.

“As a result,” Chandrasekera said, “the CEB is trying its best to recommence operations at the Norochcholai plant although it still cannot generate the full capacity.”

He also added that the CEB did not have the required number of mechanical engineers to handle the operations at Norochcholai.

“The issue has been completely mismanaged. Because of that they have to depend on China. Even the Mechanical Engineers who were previously working at Norochcholai have now been transferred to other places. This has to be questioned!”  the Convener said.

Although ‘Asian Mirror’ contacted Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi to get her comments on the matter, she was not available to comment.  However, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara had said last week that 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 had 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.

Bandula Chandrasekera however claims that he has no political affiliations with anyone and he acts on behalf of the electricity consumers of the country.   (Reported by Prabath Matharage)

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