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Newsletter: Chinese Technicians Ensure the Operation of Sri Lanka’s Power Station amid the Covid-19 Pandemic

Release time:2020-06-28 Article source:新华网 Reading times: A+AA-

On June 27, Lv Zeying conducted welding at Sri Lanka Puttalam Coal-fired Power Plant. (Xinhua News Agency)

COLOMBO, June 28 (Xinhua)—Chinese Technicians Ensure the Operation of Sri Lanka’s Power Station amid the Covid-19 Pandemic

Reported by Tang Lu of Xinhua News Agency

“Ms. Lv, please tell me your mother’s name. I will go to the temple to pray for her.” A few days ago, the Sri Lankan engineer Jiayana expressed condolences to the Chinese high-voltage welder in this way when he learned that Lv Zeying failed to return to China to fulfill her filial piety after her mother died because she stuck to the maintenance site of Puttalam power station.

Puttalam power plant is Sri Lanka’s first coal-fired power station built by China. The power station, which has been printed on Sri Lanka’s banknotes, currently provides more than 40 percent of the country’s electricity supply, so its normal operation is directly related to Sri Lanka’s economic stability and the daily life of the general public. Ms. Lv is a core technician in the Project Department of China Machinery Engineering Corporation (the “CMEC” for short), the contractor, operator and maintainer of Puttalam Coal-fired Power Plant.

A photo of Sri Lanka's Puttalam Coal-fired Power Plant taken on March 8, 2019 by reporter Tang Lu of Xinhua News Agency

“There is a welding task at No.1 Unit, please contact the welder immediately.” When confronted with the problem to be solved, the power plant engineer only needs to issue a similar instruction, and Lv Zeying and her husband Pang Tusheng, also her right-hand man, will soon appear on the site.

Li Wenfeng, head of the project site of the Chinese Project Department of Puttalam Power Plant, said that high-voltage welders are a type of work that requires a lot of on-site operation experience to undertake heavy responsibilities. Currently, Sri Lanka has no high-voltage welders for power station pipelines. As a high-voltage welder who has been approved by Ceylon Power Bureau, the Sri Lankan owner of the power station, Lv Zeying has become an indispensable technician to ensure the safe operation of the power plant.

On April 11, the Chinese and Sri Lankan maintenance personnel worked in Sri Lanka Puttalam Coal-fired Power Plant. (Xinhua News Agency)

In March 2020, the Sri Lankan government announced a curfew to control the spread of the covid-19 epidemic. Ensuring the normal operation of Puttalam Power Station became a major livelihood scheme during the epidemic period. However, due to the curfew, the number of on-the-job employees in the Sri Lankan owner’s enterprises has plummeted, which has intensified the pressure on the Chinese operation & maintenance employees, especially Lv and her husband.

Pang Tusheng told the reporter: “We originally planned to return to China in the first half of the year to attend our daughter’s wedding, but the epidemic finally prevented us from appearing at the moment when our daughter put on her wedding clothes. What is even sadder is that Lv’s mother died and we cannot return home to deal with the funeral. The reality is here. The pandemic and the important task of ensuring the operation of the power station determine that we can only continue to stick to our post.”

On May 9, 2017, Lv Zeying conducted welding training for the Sri Lankan workers at Puttalam Coal-fired Power Plant. (Xinhua News Agency)

In April 2020, the Chinese Project Department of Puttalam power station received a letter from Indrasri, the Sri Lankan head of the power station, saying: “We are going through the most tough time ever. Now, we are doing everything in our power to ensure that the power plant supplies 50 percent of the national total. I hope everyone can do their best to gradually achieve this goal under the premise of preventing and controlling the epidemic.”

To help Sri Lanka achieve its power generation goal, all members of the operation & maintenance team, including Lv Zeying, were on the frontline around the clock to deal with problems at any time to ensure that the equipment is in good operation.

A photo of the machine room of Sri Lanka’s Puttalam Coal-fired Power Plant taken on March 8, 2019 by reporter Tang Lu of Xinhua News Agency

In addition to the technical support, the Chinese Project Department is also proactively assisting the local power authority in its anti-epidemic work. To effectively prevent power station operators from cross-infecting the covid-19 virus, the project department donated an infrared thermal imaging intelligent measurement system for human body temperature to the Ceylon Power Bureau on June 1, greatly improving the temperature measuring efficiency of personnel in the office area of the power station.

Li Wenfeng said that the operation & maintenance team of the Chinese Project Department has won the respect and trust of the Sri Lankan owner with its professional skills and professionalism. “Sri Lanka is now entering a post-epidemic era, and we will continue to do our best to support the Sri Lankan enterprises to resume work and production smoothly and work with the owner’s engineers to ensure the safe and steady operation of the power station.”

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