What ails Norochcholai: Salt and old technology?
The Norochcholai power plant which was commissioned with much fanfare has broken down ten times since it started functioning last year, seven times this year alone. Although Trincomalee was earmarked for this project it was shifted to Norochcholai after protests by residents.
Work on the project started in 2005 after a much-checkered start, after President Mahinda Rajapaska was elected to office, with aid from China’s Exim bank.
The first stage of the project cost $ 455 million. The Sri Lanka Govern-ment’s contribution was Rs. 5,300 million.
According to officials one of the reasons for the regular breakdowns is that the lines carrying high intensity current get coated with salt. It is also alleged that old technology was used when installing the plant.
The most recent breakdown was on August 8 and a team of local engineers along with a team from China are attending to repairs.
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