The countrywide blackout experienced between 5.00 a.m. and 6.00 a.m. yesterday was due to a technical problem at the Kelantissa Combined Power Plant, a senior engineer of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said.
He told The Island that it was the first time that the entire country had experienced a blackout due to a technical problem. Power was restored within one hour, but, the cause of the technical problem was identified only around 9.00 a.m.
The Island learns that the Kelanitissa Combined Power Plant, which usually generates 165 MW, was generating only around 100 MW during off-peak hours. An engineer also said that the system was connected to 12 other generators and if anything goes wrong, the other generators would do the needful. But yesterday was the first time all generators failed, he said.
He said that Sri Lanka has a very weak network system. Yesterday`s problem was a defective valve following a fuel block. `These problems are common and a similar problem occurred last year but it did not affect the whole country.
He said in the year 2000 part of the United States of America and Canada experienced a similar problem that took authorities six days to restore power.