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* Sri Lankan government admits defects in Chinese-built coal power plant
Tue, Aug 14, 2012, 11:06 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 14, Colombo: Sri Lanka has publicly admitted that the Lakvijaya coal power plant in Norochcholai constructed by a Chinese company has quality issues.

Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), the island's state owned power monopoly, Dr. Wimaladharma Abeywickrema speaking to the business website has said that "There are quality issues in the plant."

The 300 megawatt Lakvijaya plant automatically shut off due to the tripping of the Veyangoda-Puttlam 220kV line on August 8th.

The CEB repaired the plant and expected to resume power generation by midnight Sunday, but another technical failure has forced the plant to shut down for another two to three weeks.

Earlier the deputy chairman of the CEB Anura Wijepala told media that the power plant was switched off due to a technical failure caused by salt depositing in supply lines from the sea breeze.

The CEB official has told the Island newspaper that the China Mechanical Engineering Corporation, which built the power plant, had used substandard equipment and some parts of the power station were corroded.

According to Wijepala, the plant had not been designed for a coastal environment and as a result it had rusted in some places.

The plant failed last month due to a rupture in the steam supply tubes in the boiler economizer forcing the authorities to impose three-hour power cuts for four days.

The first phase of the Lakvijaya coal power plant which started operations in March 2011 has not been in operation for 35 days last year due to the failures.

The Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka has said that the plant was not built in the proper place and Sri Lanka couldn't obtain proper technology.

The Chinese government thorough the Exim Bank of China has provided US$ 455 million for the construction of the first phase of the Lakvijaya plant. The main contractor of the project is China National Machinery Import & Export Corporation.

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