Sri Lankans are to face a four hour power cut daily as a result of fuel scarcity and the drop in water level of hydropower reservoirs in the country, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Engineers Union warned.
The CEB currently possessed 3000 metric tonnes of diesel sufficient for two or three days to generate electricity and furnace oil adequate for 22 days to run generators , president of the CEB Engineers Union Saumya Kumarawadu disclosed.
Accordingly the electricity board is compelled to reduce the power demand by enforcing power cuts for longer hours after three days’ time to maintain the balance in the grid system, he divulged.
Hydropower generation will also have to be curtailed; the hydroserviour water is being managed for irrigation purposes in agriculture, for drinking and environmental conservation activities, he added.
CEB Engineer Kumarawadu noted the delay in the construction of new power plants, cancellation of power projects and the lack of power plants for emergency use.
Power Minister Gamini Lokuge noted there will be no power cuts until Tuesday18 as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has agreed to supply 3,000 metric tons of furnace oil to the CEB.
It has already received 3,000 metric tons of fuel for the Kelanitissa power plant; he said adding that the ministry will hold discussions with the CPC to obtain furnace oil sufficient till Saturday 22.
He disclosed that in the wake of the shutdown of a generator at the Norochcholai power plant, the national grid has lost 300 megawatts affecting the uninterrupted power and the problem has become worse due to an unexpected technical fault at the Kelanitissa power station .
Minister Lokuge claimed that, hydropower generation has also been affected due to drop in water level at hydropower reservoirs after allocating the required capacity for irrigation and drinking water and also around 35 percent of the overall capacity of the reservoirs is set apart for power generation.
The Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is to deliver urgently required 1,500 MT of diesel to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) daily enabling it to operate its generators and avoid enforcing power cuts.
However the CEB will have to provide US dollars to the CPC if it requires fuel continuously, Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said.“in the wake of the prevailing dollar crisis in the country, the CPC had to face severe difficulties to find $400 million every month, for the supply of fuel stocks required for transportation and other industries,”he added