By Ravi Ladduwahetty
The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) yesterday said the China Mechanical Engineering Corporation, which built the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant, had used substandard equipment and some parts of the power station were corroded.
CEB Vice Chairman Anura Wijepala told The Island last night that the plant had not been designed to be installed in a coastal environment and as a result it had rusted in some places. He said the plant had several other defects. Auxiliary and fire-fighting equipment, he said, was defective and the CEB had expressed its displeasure to the Chinese contractor over the condition of the plant.
The total cost of the Norochcholai power is USD 1.3 billion. But, the quality of equipment used by the Chinese contractor was nowhere near that of Japanese or European products, Wijepala said, adding that negotiations would be held with companies like the Colombo Dockyard PLC to remove the rust.
The CEB had held a discussion with the Chinese contractor recently and the latter had promised to put the plant right shortly, Wijepala said.
The CEB Vice Chairman said he was confident that the plant would be operational by tonight. Else, power cut would have to be extended, he said. "This is extremely unfair by the students who are sitting their GCE Advanced Level examination," he said.
Meanwhile, Lu Dong, Project Manager of China Mechanical Equipment Corporation, said last night that painting had already started and repairs to the entire plant would be effected soon.