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No major damage at Kelanitissa - Minister

COLOMBO: The LTTE failed in its attempt to cause heavy damage to the Kelanitissa power station on Tuesday night in an air attack, Power and Energy Minister John Seneviratne said.

The aircraft dropped two bombs at the Kelanitissa power station and caused minor damage to the FIAT (GT7) gas turbine power generator and Combined Cycle power machine on Tuesday at 11.30 pm.

“It was an abortive mission. The Kelanitissa power station is a vital installation and we produce power for the entire Colombo city.

The LTTE attempt to create a disaster was foiled by the Security Forces resistance to the LTTE air craft,” Minister Seneviratne remarked.

The Minister observed that the Security Forces had informed the CEB authorities and the security was on alert previously on any possible LTTE air raid that could target the Kelanitissa power station.

“Following the instructions of the Security Forces the CEB disconnected the power supply to the Colombo city 30 minutes before the attack,” he said.

He said the GT7 machine was slightly damaged and the Combined Cycle generator was completely safe. “The LTTE dropped two bombs and one of them had fallen on the roof of the GT7 plant location and caused minor damage.

The latter was dropped at the Combined Cycle generator location. The turbine was safe but the machines surrounding it were dislodged or partly damaged due to fire,” he added.

However, Minister Seneviratne said that there won’t be any obstacle for producing power and supplying electricity in the future. “The GT7 machine was used as a spare machine which can produce 110 MW. This machine had been used when there is a necessity or requirement. This machine can be repaired in Sri Lanka and it will take for six months. Since it is a spare machine used on requirement, the CEB will purchase a new machine in the near future”, he said.

Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said there is no major impact from the LTTE attack targeting the Kelanitissa power station.

Around 530 MW is produced at the Kelanitissa power plant and the GT7 was producing only 110 MW.

Air Force Spokesman Wing Commander Janaka Nanayakkara said an LTTE light air craft deployed Northeast of Mannar dropped three bombs near the Thalladi army camp on Tuesday at around 10.20pm and dropped two other bombs at the Kelanitissa power station at around 11.30pm.

“No major damages were reported at the both locations. The airborne defence radar intercepted the LTTE movement and took precautionary measures to avoid any casualties or damages,” he told the Daily News.

The LTTE light air craft which entered Colombo faced a barrage of anti aircraft fire by the Air Force, Navy and army from the Kelani river, Colombo Port and the Air Force base.

“Facing heavy resistance the LTTE light wing air craft dropped two bombs at the Kelanitissa power plant. The LTTE may have aimed at a major target but due to the heavy retaliatory attack it could not create a disaster”, Wing Commander Nanayakkara pointed out.

One Kelanitissa employee had died after the attack possibly as a result of shock.

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