COLOMBO, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka is to seek assistance and support from China to operate the country's main power plant, a deputy minister said here on Wednesday.
Deputy Minister of Power and Energy Ajith Perera told Xinhua that the government would soon discuss the matter with China.
Sri Lankan's power sector has been facing a crisis in recent months with three nationwide power failures reported since September last year.
The latest country-wide breakdown was reported on March 13, with power cut off for more than seven hours, the longest in 20 years.
The failure occurred due to an explosion in an electricity transformer on the outskirts of the capital which prompted authorities to initiate an immediate probe.
Days later, another substation in Kotugoda, also on the suburbs of the capital, caught fire after exploding, plunging parts of the country into darkness.
On Monday, the government announced that experts from Japan and Germany were investigating the cause of the latest power failure and Japanese technicians had conducted tests on the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) transformers which exploded.
The government said they had sent samples to Japan for further tests.
"We are awaiting the outcome of these investigations by the international and local experts and once we receive that, the government will set a specific agenda on what to do in the future to avoid such power failures," Perera said.
Soon after that, he added, the government will hold discussions with the Chinese government to seek assistance and support to operate the Norochcholai Power Plant.
Sri Lanka has already deployed army at all power installations and substations after suspicions were raised that the power failure earlier this month could have been an act of sabotage.