COLOMBO, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- Sri Lanka's government on Friday suspended three hour daily power cuts due to increased monsoon rains and possible resumption of operations at a Chinese-built coal power plant, a statement from the Power and Energy Ministry said here.
Ongoing rains have resulted in hydro-power reaching 24 percent from a lowly 12 percent earlier this month, the statement said noting that the increase had reduced pressure on the country's thermal power plants that provide the bulk of electricity.
At peak levels hydro provides 45 percent of Sri Lanka's power needs.
"Repairs at the Chinese funded coal power plant are also nearing completion with test runs scheduled to start soon," the statement added.
The 450 million U.S. dollar Lakvijeya plant, which was built on a loan from the Chinese government failed in early July resulting in two hour daily power cuts that were later extended to three hours and 20 minutes.
A special team of Chinese engineers arrived last month to fast- track the 300 megawatt coal power plant.
The severe drought has also affected an estimated 150,000 acres of paddy and Treasury Secretary P.B. Jayasundara on Thursday told a seminar in Colombo that it could reduce Sri Lanka's economic growth from the projected 7.2 percent to 6.7 percent in 2012.