15 March 2016
The Ceylon Electricity Board says there could be intermittent power supply disruptions in the coming days. As the Norochcholai Power Plant is not functional as power failures were reported from various parts of the country on Monday as well.
While a countrywide blackout was experienced at about 2:20 on Sunday afternoon, the power was yet to be restored to many areas by midnight. The Ceylon Electricity Board states that the blackout was caused by an explosion at a major transformer in Biyagama.
Engineers say the generators at the Norochcholai Plant had automatically switched off, as a result of the imbalance on the grid caused by the damaged transformer.
Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya stated that the police are conducting a special investigation following the unusual destruction of the transformer.
He added that Government Analyst will be providing a report shortly on what had actually transpired. He went on to note that they hope to seek protection from the army for a special location as such.
Deputy Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ajith P. Perera stated that they are looking into the matter from every angle in order to define whether it was an act of criminal sabotage.
He added that since all three generators at the Norochcholai plant are not functional, it would take three days to turn on all three generators.
While the non-functionality of the Norochcholai plant has deprived 42.4 percent of the electricity supply on the National grid. Prevailing dry weather has limited hydro power generation to 20 percent as well. Against this backdrop, the sustenance of the national grid is 80 percent dependent on private sector fuel power stations.
General Manager of the CEB, M.C. Wickremasekera stated that it takes about two to three days for the cooling process, once it switches off.
Explaining further, he noted that there is no technical flaw in any of the machinery, as they have switched on all other generators to cover the shortfall and requested the cooperation of the consumers.
Yesterday, the Chairman of the CEB, Aruna Wijepala, decided to resign from his position, taking responsibility for the three countrywide blackouts experienced over the past six months.
Chairman of the CEB, Anura Wijeypala stated that the reason for him to resign is the unusual activity in the Norochcholai Power Plant.