Norochcholai power plant: One unit shut down | Sunday Observer

Norochcholai power plant: One unit shut down

The Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy says that one unit of the Norochcholai Power Plant will be temporarily shutdown for maintenance.

Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Renewable Energy, Dr Suren Batagoda told the Sunday Observer that there will be no power cuts.

“Some plants are going in for maintenance these days as the demand is less. This does not mean there will be power cuts. We approve maintenance shutdowns only after ensuring that there are supplementary power sources that will cover up,” Dr Batagoda said.

However, a highly placed official of Lakvijaya Power Plant told the Sunday Observer that the Electrostatic Precipitator (ESP), a unit that collects fly ash exiting the chimney, and stops it from being released to the atmosphere is not functioning properly.

“The ESP unit has been giving trouble. This collects about 90 percent of the fly ash. The efficiency of this unit dropped to about twenty to thirty percent. To rectify this, we have to stop the unit from operating. We have obtained approval for a 10-day outage from the CEB management,” the official revealed.

The Provincial Environmental Authority of the North Western Province in its letter dated April 6, requested the immediate shut down of the faulty unit and its rectification.

“...However, you have not yet submitted proposals to this Authority and action has not been taken to mitigate the environmental issues arising due to the malfunctioning of air quality control units,” the letter sighted by the Sunday Observer states.

According to authorities, the decision to go for repairs during the holidays was due to less electricity demand.

“We decided to go for the outage starting today (April 12) as most of the offices and factories are not in operation, during the New Year holidays,” he said.

With the temporary shutdown, the 300 Megawatts contributed by the unit will not be available for the next ten days.