The Chinese engineers who constructed the faltering Norochcholai power plant have struck back at criticism of the plant, stating the Sri Lankans have not been following proper maintenance practice.
Zhao Wenxue, from the Northwest Electric Design Institute that designed the plant labelled the accusations as unfair, stating,
"The Norochcholai coal power plant is not as bad as one makes it look. It is just overused, tired and needs a break to rest like any other equipment does."
"The plant was forced to work beyond its required limits and keep supplying electricity to the whole country.”
"Questioning the quality of the equipment used in the project and pointing fingers at China Machinery Engineering Corporation is without basis.”
"According to normal practice in China, a thermal plant should undergo a one month maintenance period annually… Only then can the unit be more reliable and efficient and expected to perform well."
"The Norochcholai coal power plant had past all the performance tests and it was in operation continuously from February 2012 till end of July 2012"
"With the lack of rain and in an attempt to avoid burdening the public with power cuts the Ceylon Electricity Board had meanwhile decided to postpone the annual maintenance of the Norochcholai coal power plant."
Wenxue also stated that following a request from Sri Lanka, Chinese engineers had world to complete the building one year ahed of schedule, commenting,
"We agreed and mobilized our teams including a skilled workforce for early completion of the project ahead of the scheduled date".
The plant was built using a USD $455 million loan from China's EXIM bank, with construction having been carried out by the China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation.