Island-wide blackout lasting hours

2016-02-25 14:39:04

The entire country plunged into total darkness following a major power failure this afternoon and the Engineers of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) were struggling to detect the cause for the breakdown.

Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary Dr. Suren Batagoda said a disruption on the main line from Polpitiya in Lakshapana to the Kolonnawa main grid seemed to be the cause of island wide blackout experienced this afternoon.

When asked whether the disruption of power was an act of sabotage Dr. Batagoda said he could not rule out such allegation as disruption of a single grid could not result in a countrywide blackout as each section has a respective protection system in place.

Meanwhile, General Manager CEB M C Wickramasekara said the current findings on the technical side of the disruption of power could not be interpreted as sabotage or not.

He said an initial technical report had revealed that the link between Polpitiya and Kolonnawa had been disrupted and that they are waiting for a full technical report to determine what exactly caused to the blackout.

Questions were being asked whether the power failure which lasted more than two hours was an act of sabotage or a technical fault.

Deputy General Manager – System Control of the CEB, H.D.S.Thimothius soon after the break down told the Daily Mirror that he was struggling to find the cause to the power failure and added the System Control branch was in the process of restoring the power gradually.

“It could be due to a strike of lightening on one of our major generators or any other reason. The entire system has suffered a break down. We are right now in the process of restoring power section by section. It will take another two hours to restore power to the entire country,” Mr. Thimothius said around 4.00 pm today.

Meanwhile, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has instructed Ministry Secretary Batagoda to appoint a committee to investigate the island wide power failure and report. (Sandun A Jayasekera, Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana and Darshana Sanjeewa)

  Comments - 8

  • Power Thursday, 25 February 2016 14:59

    Please blame the yahapalanaya

    Reply : 0       2

    Potty Thursday, 25 February 2016 15:12

    Was listening to a talk show on TV on and one participant a Doctor in economics who with for the former minister of power claimed that the CEB engineers know very little of the power distribution system or grid in the island. That is why they struggle to restore the power. Need Indians?

    Reply : 1       1

    Total Failure Thursday, 25 February 2016 15:24

    This happens when a large chunk of power gets thrown off the grid. In the present scenario it is t Norachcholi which contributes the largest amount AND normally (due to it being a coal fired station) it is run flat out (base load). 300 MW thrown off the grid can only be stabilised by a quick response from other generating stations running on spinning reserve as high as 300 MW (which may be difficult). and also on quick automatic load shedding. The primary cause of loss of large chunks of Power is either sudden generator tripping (at Norachcholai (being the highest contributor of Generation) OR the grid transmission line (from Norochcholai) tripping (due to a line fault). Restoring Power from scratch is another exercise requiring start up of each generating station , the loading the sub transmission gradually, bringing up other generation and so on. It is another carefully coordinated operation. During the North American total failure it took over 4 days to fully restore Power .

    Reply : 0       2

    endtime Thursday, 25 February 2016 16:14

    Worldwide Blackout soon before end time.

    Reply : 1       1

    saman Thursday, 25 February 2016 16:24

    Nobody complains because nobody likes repercussions!

    Reply : 0       2

    TesLa Thursday, 25 February 2016 20:33

    there was also cyclone that happned in colombo west at the same time... could this be related to the grid brekdown ? something mysterious happened and its all hush hush.

    Reply : 0       2

    Priya Friday, 26 February 2016 09:58

    Absolutely mysterious agreed. When the truth is not revealed speculation is greater and closer to the truth.!

    Reply : 0       0

    citizen silva Thursday, 25 February 2016 21:10

    country plunged into total darkness in the afternoon !!!!!what a gem !!!!

    Reply : 1       1

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