In the wake of fuel short supply due to the dollar crisis, Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is preparing to purchase fuel directly from the Indian Oil Company (IOC) to meet the fuel shortage.
Power Minister Gamini Lokuge says that the CEB will purchase fuel directly through IOC today Monday (31st) and the day after tomorrow (1st).
He states that a decision will have to be taken tomorrow regarding the amount of oil required by the CEB for the next week.
Minister Lokuge noted that a programme will be launched to obtain electricity from private power plants on a short term basis.
“At present, we are getting oil. From Monday we have to see how to get oil for next week. We have discussed this with the IOC.
What we are doing is to maintain the power supply without any disruption. That is what the President told us. Let the CEB work for that.
The Petroleum Corporation, too, should act accordingly. In addition, the Petroleum Corporation has permitted us to import oil directly. We will discuss that as well. I think Indian Oil is trying to get us oil. We are working with the Ministry of Finance on this,” he added.
Meanwhile Sri Lanka’s energy minister Udaya Gammanpila has warned of daily power cuts up to 4 hours if the country fails to secure a “large loan” by March 2022.
Sri Lanka has been facing a severe foreign exchange shortage with falling reserves. This has led to the currency losing value, making imports costly.
The country is also grappling with a shortage of almost all essentials, including fuel. The state power units have been unable to run turbines, forcing the government to impose power cuts are at peak hours.
The minister stated that the country must be prepared to make the necessary sacrifices in this regard, and asked the state’s politicians to lead it by example.
Gammanpila also stated that Sri Lanka will have to import fuel with the existing limited foreign reserves, at least until the monsoon season begins in April.
Speaking further, he said that the country will have to generate electricity by using fuel until the monsoon season.