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Sri Lanka power fails island wide

Dec 07, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka's national power system failed shortly before dawn Friday, plunging the island in darkness as a thermal generator tripped out of the grid, officials said. A combined cycle thermal power plant at Sri Lanka's state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board's (CEB) Kelanitissa thermal generation complex had tripped at 4.48 am local time setting off a chain reaction that shut down the national power system.

Officials expect power in the capital to be restored after one hour, and the rest of the island thereafter.

Sri Lanka has suffered blackouts from time to time due to technical faults in recent years as the cash strapped utility struggles to provide reliable power for the island.

Political interference has delayed the setting up of cheaper and more reliable coal based plants, and further political interference has kept prices low, making the utility suffer heavy losses.

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