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Norochcholai Coal Power Plant

Commissioned in 2011, the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant, more popularly known as the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant is an engineering feat, given the size of the island nation of Sri Lanka. Officially dubbed the largest power station in the country not only for its size, but also for its energy output. Coupled with the fact that the power plant is now slowly moving towards sustainable energy resources, the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant is an energising site to visit, should you be journeying up to the north western coast of the country.

Best Known For

  • The Norochcholai Coal Power Plant is known for the energy it provides to many a Sri Lankan, in order to sustain their daily lives, which in turn results in a great economic return to the country.
  • The power plant is also known for being one of the more progressive power plants in the country, as it has initiated a strategy to harness renewable energy, as opposed to coal power, due to the latter’s harmful environmental effects. Thus making it all the more intriguing to visit the power plant located in Puttalam.

Interesting Facts

  • The Norochcholai Coal Power Plant’s construction, initially started in 2006, with the intention of increasing electricity output of the country, providing power generation to the rural population.
  • It was in 2011 that this Puttalam coal power plant was officially opened for operation by the then President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse.
  • Just in its first phase of operation, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) stated that the power plant generated 1.7 terawatts per hour (TWh) per annum; a significant jump in total energy output of the country.
  • Due to its predominant use of coal resources during this time, greenhouse gases in the form of CO2 are emitted from a 150-metre tall chimney, also considered as one of the tallest man-made structures in the country.
  • Currently the CEB has taken the initiative to hybridise the power plant by using renewable resources, especially the utilization of wind energy.
  • The Mampuri Wind Farms, located right next to the power plant is an example of such an initiative.
  • At present, the plant has the capacity to produce 900 Mega Watts (MW), using 3 steam turbines that produce 300 MWs each, thus the reason as to why it serves to be a major economic driver for the country as a whole.

Times, Seasons and Tips

  • Several protocols have to be followed when visiting the power station, as it is still a high security zone, due to the complex being of high economic importance.
  • In order to gain access to visit the power station, a letter requesting permission to visit the power station, addressed to the Deputy General Manager must be submitted, at least 2 weeks prior to the date of visit.
  • The following information should be included in the submitted request letter; date of visit, number of participants, If school children, teachers or parents, a list of their names, national identity card and passport numbers of all participants as well as the contact telephone number, fax and address of party requesting the visit.
  • The party may inquire whether permission has been granted before the date of the visit from the Deputy General Manager by telephone, if no letter of permission has been received by the party two days prior to the visit.
  • It is still best to call the power station beforehand, so as to get a clear idea of how the request letter should be submitted.
  • Please keep in mind that security in the power station is quite strict, therefore it is imperative that you do not bring any prohibited items.
  • It is highly unlikely that you will be able to photograph any of the machinery and equipment utilized here, however, the external areas can be photographed. Just inquire about it from the Deputy General Manager to be more thorough with the rules and regulations.

In conclusion, the Norochchcolai Power Plant may be an ‘out of the ordinary’ site to visit, yet when considering its revolutionary impact on the island’s energy production, the plant is well worth a visit.

Title image by: Roshie Kahandawela The information displayed is provided by Norochcholai Coal Power Plant

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