The power generation operations of the Yugadhanavi combined cycle power plant in Kerawalapitiya came to a standstill on the 2nd of July, due to a technical defect. This power station which is one of the largest thermal power plants in the country is capable of producing 300 MW of power to the national grid. However the operations officers of the plant were able to identify the fault rectify the problem and add 170 MW of power to the national grid by the 12th of July. Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka made an inspection tour of the Muthurajawela Power Station and held discussions with administration and technical officers regarding the technical fault.
The minister pointed out that since the power plant had continuously functioned round the clock during the last five months it was a big boost to the national power grid. He urged the officials not to be deceived by the falsehoods spread by certain parties and work towards the progress of the power station. He further stated that CEB incurred a loss of Rs. 200 million per day as 85 per cent of the power generation is by thermal power.
However by the 25th The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) announced that power generation capacity of Kerawalapitiya Yugandanavi power plant which was disrupted due to a technical fault, has been restored at 200 MW and another 100 MW will be added on July 30.
The minister also said that steps are also being taken to operate the Yugadanavi power plant from liquid gas (LND) by 2014 and some other power stations will also be transformed as LND power plants in the future.
The restoration of the remaining capacity will be completed by local engineers of the CEB and the power capacity will be restored completely, he added.
Power plant chief operation Officer M. J. M. N. Marikkar said the news that power plant was not functioning due to scarcity of fuel was baseless and false. He said that the seal that is located inside the steam valve which was the cause for the breakdown, is currently being brought down from the US. He added that usually this seal is placed in a chamber with a temperature of 520 degrees Celsius and a pressure of 100 bars, and it is very rarely that such a fault could be experienced.
However the two turbines with a maximum capacity of 100 MW each have been restored and is currently in operation. The remaining 100 MW will be added by the 30th of July, said Marikkar. He said that even though currently the power generation output is 100 MW short of the total capacity, there is no adjustment in the tariffs. He also pointed out that the rumors that have been spread that the closure of the power plant was due to the shortage of fuel is totally a fabricated story. The unique feature of this power station is its ability to function with low sulphur furnace oil, diesel or gas.