The Sri Lankan government Wednesday expressed full confidence in a Chinese built coal power plant after it resumed operations following an unexpected breakdown.
"No one can question the standards of Chinese products. We have no issues with the power plant.
Technical issues will be there but that is there in any other power plant as well. We had breakdowns in many of our other power plants but no one created an issue," said Sri Lanka's Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka.
The minister said told reporters that the Norochcholai coal power plant in north western Puttalam is expected to meet 60 percent of the country's electricity demands once the full project is completed.
The first stage of Norochcholai, the island's first coal power plant, was commissioned last March but faced a sudden and unexpected breakdown in August.
Sri Lanka heavily depends on hydro power and a lack of sufficient rain earlier this year and the breakdown of the coal power plant forced the authorities to implement daily power cuts last month. "The allegation that the power cuts were solely because of the breakdown of the Norochcholai coal power plant is not correct. The power cuts were because there was no rain. Blaming me, the Ceylon Electricity Board, China or the Chinese engineers was not fair," Ranawaka said.
Local media and opposition politicians had blamed the government over the power cuts and also raised allegations against the Chinese company, China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) , which is involved in constructing the power plant.
However, Ranawaka said that the government was not affected by the allegations and they are now embarking on the second stage of the coal power project together with CMEC.
Wang Ludong, site manager of the power plant, said that his company and the Ceylon Electricity Board are in a position to address any issue that may arise in the coal power plant.
He expressed confidence in the stability of the power plant in the long run once the second stage is completed.