Only one unit of the Lakvijaya coal power plant in Norochcholai is currently functioning, signifying a shortfall of 600 megawatts of electricity in the country. The plant has three units which together generate 900mw of power. However, while unit 2 was shut down for a scheduled maintenance unit 3 broke down midweek after a boiler tube leak, authoritative sources said, adding that it might take around two weeks to fix.
In August, too, the CEB faced difficulties getting all three Lakvijaya units online after a countrywide blackout that is still under investigation by an independent expert committee. Unit 1 had broken down repeatedly since its commissioning in 2011.
But the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is seeking to have a 300mw extension to Lakvijaya built by the same company that did the other three units-China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC). Earlier this year, the utility called for expressions of interest to hire a financial consultant for the project.
The advertisement indicated that financial model for the planned build, own, operate and transfer (BOOT) or build, own and operate (BOO) project was still not available, despite multiple Cabinet papers having been approved and a timeline for completion set for 2023.