The cause of the breakdown at the Lakwijaya coal power station in Puttlam has been identified, according to the power and energy ministry.A five inch tear was discovered in one of the thousands of tubes in the boiler economizer , which caused the breakdown last Sunday, and subsequent imposition of power cuts since yesterday.
The minister of power and energy Patali Champika Ranawaka visited the power plant yesterday, for a first handinspection tour, to ascertain the damage. Three teams comprising local engineers and technicians appointed to investigate the breakdown met the minister and explained the situation.
The tubes assist in maintaining the pressure in the boiler and transporting the steam generated to the turbine. A common application of economizers in steam power plants is to capture the waste heat from boiler stack gases (flue gas) and transfer it to the boiler feed water. However due to the rupture in one of the tubes the pressure in the boiler had dropped, disrupting the functioning of the power plant last Sunday.
The minister instructed thelocal engineers and technicians are currently in the process of repairing the damaged pipe to rectify the damage and resumenormal functions of the Lakwijaya power plant as soon as possible.
The plant management hopes to complete the repair by this afternoon, and subsequent to testing the pressure levels of the boiler, measures will be taken to restart the power generation facilities of the plant.
The CEB urged the consumers to understand the present crisis, and join hands in conserving electricity.