Operations at Norochcholai power plant will be halted until coal arrives

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – A decision has been taken to suspend the operations of one of the generators at the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai from today in order to manage the available coal stock until a coal shipment arrives in the country.

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said that the coal stock will be managed until the next ship carrying the coal arrives in the island.

By deactivating one generator, the CEB expects to save 2,500 metric tons of daily. By disabling one generator, the national system will lose 300 MW of electricity capacity. It is to be purchased from private power plants.

An electricity capacity of 900 megawatts is produced daily from the three generators at the Norochcholai power plant. The amount of coal required for that is 7,500 metric tons.

A senior spokesman of Ceylon Electricity Board told Neth News that although a ship carrying coal is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka next week, the arrival of the ship will be delayed until around January 6th. Accordingly, in order to produce electricity from the Norochcholai plant until the arrival of the next coal ship, one of its generators has to be stopped. As a result, 300 megawatts of electricity capacity will be lost.

According to the official, in order to generate the lost quantity, the Yugadanavi oil plant should be operated at the full capacity of 300 MW. Also, the Kelanithissa Combined Cycle Power Plant should also be operational. Currently, a capacity of 165 megawatts is added to the main system from that plant. Only if this process takes place will it be possible to maintain the current power cut until the next coal ship arrives.

However, when generating electricity using coal, the cost per unit is between 60 and 62 rupees. But for a unit of electricity produced by the Yugadanavi oil plant, the cost per unit is 100 rupees.

Meanwhile, if electricity is generated using naphtha at the Kelanithissa combined cycle plant, the cost per unit is 43 rupees. However, in view of the current situation, if electricity is generated from that plant using diesel without naphtha, the cost per unit will be 88 rupees.

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