Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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Sri Lanka to go dark soon following Kelanitissa power plant the shut down

Sri Lanka is likely to go dark soon following the shut down of Kelanitissa power plant and the impending suspension of power generation by Norochcholai power plant due to shortage of fuel and coal, CEB officials said.

The power generation at the Kelanitissa power plant has come to a halt since Wednesday evening, with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) suspending fuel supply required for power generation.

If the CEB does not receive Coal shipments by the 15th of April, come July, or August 2023 we will have to go for extremely lengthy power cuts owing to the shut down of Norochcholai power plant.

It would become the longest power cut in history. That is why we warn that we will have a Dark July in 2023,” warned Nihal Weeraratne, the Chairman of the CEB Engineers Union.

“The CPC has for some unknown reason suspended fuel supply to the Kelanitissa plant, although we are informed that CPC has sufficient stocks of Naphthalene required for three days,” President of the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union Nihal Weeraratne said.

“Power generation has been awarded to West Coast Power (Pvt.) Ltd. to meet the country’s power demand, costing the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) around Rs. 10 per unit,” he revealed. As a result the CEB incurs a loss of Rs. 40 million per day,” Weeraratne charged.

He questioned as to why two state entities, namely the CEB and the CPC which are under the Ministry of Power and Energy have awarded power generation to a private company. “It begs the question as to why the subject Minister is instrumental in causing such a great loss to the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, only 12 shipments of coal have reached the country and the unloading of the 12th shipment is facing uncertainty, Weeraratne said.

He charged that the Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera failed to secure payments for these shipments, casting doubt over the country’s power generation capabilities over the next few months.

“We have a limited window of opportunity and the Minister seems to be ignorant of this. I have been criticized for my statements in the past. But the more delays we face in unloading these shipments, more blackouts are highly likely in July,” he opined

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