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CEBEU refutes claims made by the SEA about island wide power failure

08 Dec 2021

The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) has refuted claims made by the Senior Engineers Association (SEA) of the CEB pertaining to remote access to protection relays in the power system to instigate the island wide power collapse which occurred on the 3rd of December 2021. This was made known through a media release by the CEBEU today (08). "The CEBEU wishes to reiterate to the public and media that such allegations are totally false and are not based on any scientific or engineering analysis or understanding of how sophisticated industrial class power system automation and modern protection systems work," the statement read. The statement also mentioned that the SEA accused that such settings have been changed or altered through the remote access to relays, whereas such changes and accesses are logged internally and cannot be deleted. "One of the allegations made was that there was remote access to relays and thereby settings had been changed to create their malfunction. CEB has SIEMENS and SCHNEIDER (MICOM) main protection relays and QUALITROL BEN6000 fault recorders installed at Biyagama and Kothmale grid substations. If anyone had accessed these relays, it would be recorded and logged internally as events in the relay Events List cannot be deleted," it said. Further, the statement mentions that internal investigations have been carried out and the responsible branches of the CEB have confirmed that there has not been any external manipulation of relays at the Biyagama and Kothmale lines. Adding that the CEBEU is in support of sharing any data with any power protection expert, the CEBEU statement mentions that an independent expert or an expert from Siemens and Schneider would be assisted in further investigations if conducted. "As per analysis done by CEB experts and based on information logged at Disturbance Recorders, there has been an actual fault in the Biyagama-Kothmale 220KV backbone transmission line, and the exact cause is being investigated," the statement said. Meanwhile, the CEBEU statement mentioned that the SEA group claims were made with no power system protection expertise, and that the members of the SEA consists of less than 30 members out of which some are not considered as "senior engineers”.

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