160 MW of power added to national grid from Norochcholai and No scheduled power outages until further notice – PUCSL
Posted on January 31st, 2022

Courtesy Adaderana

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) says the third generator at the Lakvijaya Power Plant in Norochcholai has been repaired after it broke down last month.

Accordingly, 160 MW of electricity has been added to the national grid.

This generator, which adds 300 MW of electricity in total to the national grid, experienced a sudden malfunction in early December, 2021.

Following the breakdown, the Kelanitissa power plant had been supplying 300 MW of electricity to the national grid, in lieu of the 3rd generator at the Lakvijaya power plant.

Meanwhile, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) says it expects to convene a meeting later today to review the situation and to decide whether interruptions to the power supply are needed.

On January 27, the PUCSL stated that scheduled interruptions to the electricity supply until today after reviewing the situation at power plants and the availability of fuel stocks required by them.

According to reports, stocks of fuel required for power generation are being supplied to power plants.

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has declared that there will be no scheduled power interruptions in the country until further notice. 

The electricity sector regulator convened a meeting earlier today to review the current situation and to decide whether it is necessary to impose scheduled power cuts.

As the demand for electricity can be managed during the month of February starting tomorrow, the proposal made by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) for a power interruption will not be allowed until February 04, 2022, the PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said. The CEB had proposed that there is a need for power interruption from 25th of January to 4th of February, he added.

We reviewed the power plants and the fuel stocks that are required for them, on a daily basis. Based on the results of those reviews we decide that there is no necessity for power interruption. It is estimated that the entire economy would incur around Rs. 31 billion of loss if the proposed power interruption was approved. We were able to save Rs. 31 billion by preventing a power interruption. It has been confirmed that a continuous supply of electricity can be provided without any power interruption even at the beginning of February.”

Mr. Ratnayake also noted that an uninterrupted supply of power should be provided to successfully hold the G.C.E. Advanced Level Examination scheduled for the next month.

Speaking further, he said Unit 3 of the Nororchcholai Coal Power Plant, which was undergoing renovations, has commenced generation of power supply. Accordingly, 160 MW of electricity was added to the national grid today. This generator, which adds 300 MW of electricity in total to the national grid, experienced a sudden malfunction in early December, 2021.

Meanwhile, the 130 MW power plant at Sojitz, which was recently disconnected from the national grid for maintenance purposes, is expected to resume power generation from February 02, the PUCSL chairman continued, adding that, As a result, it has been confirmed that the power supply can be maintained uninterrupted.”

Mr. Ratnayake also stated that the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery has received crude oil and has already started the process of refining the fuel required for the power plants in the future.

The refinery produces fossil fuels and naphtha as by-products. Power plants such as Sapugaskanda, Colombo Barge Mounted, West Coast and Uthuru Janani which have a generation capacity of 495 MW require fossil fuel. A total of 495 MW of capacity can be generated for 13 days from the fossil fuel that is generated through the refinery process. Also, 150 MW power plant can be operated for five days from the naphtha produced by crude oil.”

PUCSL also pointed out that it is essential to get the support of the electricity consumers to manage the supply of electricity in such a challenging situation.

With regard to this, Mr. Ratnayake said, We have proposed a number of electricity conservation measures that can be implemented with the assistance of consumers, such as limiting lighting, saving the use of air conditioners, and limiting the lighting time of street lamps. We estimate that these measures alone will save us 3.7 GW hours per day. If so, a 150 MW power plant can be shut down for 24 hours. It is the responsibility of the electricity consumer to support the country by conservation of electricity in a situation like this.”

He urged all electricity consumers to support the conservation of electricity to the best of their ability, noting that inefficient electricity consumption in a situation like this can lead to power cuts. 

The PUCSL said it has also taken steps to get the support of private and state organizations to generate about 300 MW of capacity through the efficient use of power generators owned by them. One of the ways to get electricity instantly for us is the efficient use of the generators owned by various companies. We have already had a discussion on the matter with the owners of 100 MW so far. It is scheduled to discuss with another group on the same matter this week. We hope to reach a final decision on the availability of about 300 MW of capacity from state and private generators before the end of next month.”

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