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Cause for Lakvijaya breakdown identified

Cause for Lakvijaya breakdown identified

July 24, 2012  03:01 pm

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The tear in one of the tubes in the boiler economizer at the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant. Image courtesy: Power & Energy Ministry - Media Unit

The cause for the breakdown at the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai has been identified as a 5-inch tear in one of the thousands of tubes in the boiler economizer, the Ministry of Power and Energy said today.

Local teams are currently working to rectify the issue and restore functions at the power plant, the Ministry said.

Power generation operations at the plant was temporarily suspended on Sunday following a technical fault. Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka meanwhile had engaged in inspection tour of the power plant this morning.

Three teams comprising local technicians and engineers were assigned to study the situation and find a solution to breakdown. They had discovered the 5-inch tear in one of tubes in the boiler economizer, causing water carried through the tubes to leak.

The technicians are currently taking steps to remove the ruptured section of the tube and replace it, the Power and Energy Ministry stated adding that Minister Ranawaka has instructed the relevant officers to restore operations as immediately as possible.

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had decided to turn off electricity across the country for three hours daily until July 28, after technical problems had knocked out almost a quarter of its generating capacity.

The nationwide power cut was implemented after the 300 megawatt (MW) Chinese-built coal power plant at Norocholai failed for a fifth time since it was commissioned in March last year.

The country lost another 100 MW from a combined diesel power plant, and an extended drought has decimated hydro power’s contribution to the national grid.