ECONOMYNEXT - Sri Lanka' state-run Ceylon Electricity Board will fast-track the building of three 35 MegaWat gas turbine plants within the next 12-months, as part of measures to solve the country's power crisis, Power Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said.
Sri Lanka's national power grid has weakened after two transformer failures, high demand amid hot weather and a drought that has hit hydro power generation.
The 2015 Long Term Generation Plan of the CEB has listed two 35 MW gas turbines to be installed by 2018, when 45MW private Asia Power unit retires and a third 35 MW to be built by 2019 which will allow four old 18 MW generators in Sapugaskande to be retired.
Siyambalapitiya told parliament all three plants will be built within 12 months.
The CEB also needs back-up power to safely cool and shut down three coal plants if the national grid fails. At the moment, when the national grid fails, the coal plants releases steam by rupturing a diaphragm, requiring three days to cool the plant and replace the component.
It is not clear whether several or all three new gas turbines would be located at the Puttalam coal complex to double up as emergency generators. The so-called house load of a 300MW coal plant to run its cooling system and water pumps is about 30 MW.
The A 100MW of emergency power will also be connected, Siyambalapitiya said.