The repeated failure of the Chinese first coal power plant in Norochcholai has compelled the government to publicly acknowledge that there are issues related to the quality of the Chinese built plant, the Colombo weekly reports. The Lakvijaya plant in Norochcholai is fast becoming a burden to the Sri Lankan economy rather than an asset given the constant breakdowns resulting in 6.5 Billion rupees in losses to the already cash strapped Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB). The CEB incurs a daily loss of Rs. 200 million when the Lakvijaya plant is not operational. The plant has so far recorded 12 breakdowns since it was commissioned in March last year. The latest breakdown in the plant was on August 9 when the 300MW Lakvijaya plant automatically shut off following the tripping of the Veyangoda-Puttalam 220kV transmission line. Although the CEB hoped to resume operations of the plant last Sunday, another technical failure forced the plant to be shut down for another two to three week period. The CEB states that the Lakvijaya power plant does not have a proper safe shut down system that is usually in place in other coal plants. The plant also failed last month due to a rupture in the steam supply tubes in the boiler economizer forcing the CEB to impose three-hour power cuts for four days in certain parts of the country. The first phase of the Lakvijaya coal power plant, which started operations in March 2011, has not been in operation for 35 days last year due to the failures costing the CEB a mammoth 6.5 billion rupees. The China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMEC), which built the power plant, has been accused of using substandard equipment and certain sections of the power station have even started to corrode due to the lack of a proper anti-corrosive system. The Chinese government thorough the Exim Bank of China provided US$ 455 million for the construction of the first phase of the Lakvijaya plant. Work on the second phase of the plant that is to add another 300MW is currently underway.  ]]>

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