|Every where it is MESSY.
It is understood that these issues also include the case of a senior engineer attached to the Norochcholai coal power plant, who has been earmarked for forced retirement by the CEB Board, claiming that he was responsible for all the problems at the plant.
However, engineers have been saying repeatedly that the design and specifications of the plant had been agreed between the Ministry and the Chinese contractor with little input from CEB engineers. Engineers have protested on many occasions claiming that the Chinese contractor was delivering a substandard plant.
The plant was originally scheduled to be commissioned in January 2012. However, after the present Minister took over, its opening date was advanced by eight months and the plant was declared open by the President in a colourful and expensive ceremony that included a King Vijaya look-alike landing on the Puttalam shore, after travelling in a flotilla of ships and handing over a sannas to the President.
However, ever since this plant was commissioned almost a year back, it had been plagued by frequent breakdowns.
Engineers claim that the massive electricity price increase imposed by the Government from Wednesday which included a 40per cent fuel surcharge was a direct result of the highly unreliable operation of the coal plant.
They question as to why the contracts for the second and third stages of the plant, each 300 MW, were signed by the Ministry of Power and Energy, even before the First stage was opened.
With the recurrent problems of the coal power plant, the Minister has been making every effort to distance himself from the plant, disclaiming any responsibility for awarding the contracts to the Chinese company concerned, Engineers charge.
He has ordered all top engineers involved in the First stage be transferred out and CEB has appointed a senior engineer from its Generation Unit to head the Stage Two Project of the plant.
Engineers believe that unless the quality of equipment and workmanship is improved drastically, this second stage too will have all the problems of the First stage, bringing more problems to CEB and the country.
According CEB sources, another issue taken up by CEBEU at the Special General Meeting was the interdiction of its member Dr. Susantha Perera by the Board in May 2011.