Only one power generator at the Norochcholai Lakwijaya coal power plant is in working condition, adding only 270MW to the national grid.
The failure of the third generator at Norochcholai occurred around one o’clock this morning.
When the breakdown occurred, the second generator of the Lakwijaya plant was shut down for maintenance purposes.
Anil Ranjith Induvara, president of the Electrical Engineers Association,said that the collapse occurred due to a steam leak in the huge water pump set up for the cooling function of the boiler connected to the 3rd generator, hence the national grid is operative sans 270MW of its capacity. He said, explaining the current situation.
He further said, “There was a steam leak in the big water pump that fills the boiler of the third generator. Actually, this machine was supposed to have been shut down for maintenance in the year 2020. But the plans were delayed for twin reasons. Firstly, with the COVID pandemic situation, there was a practical problem of bringing Chinese expert teams down to Sri Lanka. It was also a problem to release this machine for maintenance during that epidemic period.
“This situation is the main reason for the breakdown of the generator. We still don’t know what the actual problem is. We only learned of a steam leak today. The machine should come to rest and cool down before you go near it. You need to make time for that. Only after that can we gather details and assess the situation and repair it. It will take at least a week for this. Our engineers are competent enough to handle the situation.
“This may trigger a longer power cut throughout the country. The duration of the power outages will depend on the ability to produce hydroelectric power and the feasibility of using fuel to produce thermal power.