Rs. 50 mn. wasted buying equipment CEB already owns



Purchases suspected to enable overseas junkets

By Ifham Nizam 

The Norochcholai Coal Power Plant has spent Rs. 50 million to purchase an unnecessary test apparatus when the same equipment is available in several specialized branches of the CEB, a senior Electrical Engineer said.

He said that the equipment known as the primary injection test set (or primary current injection kit) is used for testing different components in electricity supply systems, including circuit breakers, transformers and protective relays.

The Generation Division of the CEB under which the Norochcholai Coal Plant functions already has two dedicated asset management branches to service testing and commissioning requirements of its power plants.

“Both these asset management branches have fully functional primary injection test sets purchased from a highly reputed Austrian manufacturer,” he added.

The Sunday Island learns these branches also have spent millions on procuring many other test equipment and providing specialized overseas training to their engineers. The purpose of having dedicated asset management branches is to avoid duplication of very expensive equipment and to retain engineers with specialized training in a central place to serve the needs of all power stations.

Similar branches exist in the Transmission and Distribution divisions of the CEB as well. These branches also have purchased their own primary injection test sets.

Several engineers serving at the Norochcholai power plant told The Island on condition of anonymity that it was a total waste for the plant to spend Rs. 50 million to purchase the same equipment already owned by the two asset management branches of the Generation Division.

They pointed out that the Asset Management branch in charge of thermal power plants has carried out all testing work associated with major overhauls of the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant to date. They question why the Norochcholai purchased this expensive item which was not only not required but also given the fact that the same equipment supplied by its Italian manufacturer to two of the distribution divisions of the CEB had failed and become unusable.

It is understood that the supply contract included overseas training and factory inspection in Italy for the engineers at Norochcholai.

Some CEB engineers expressed the grave suspicion that the equipment in question may have been purchased to justify the overseas visits by the engineers concerned.

They claim such training is also unnecessary since there are already trained engineers working in the specialized branches of the CEB, and the CEB has spent vast sums in training them both locally and at manufacturers’ facilities abroad.


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