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CEB to cut power cuts to 4 hours if CPC, LIOC help

10 months ago

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  • Chairman says CPC diesel stock expected tomorrow
  • Spokesman says LIOC providing 6,000 MT of diesel
  The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is hopeful that it could reduce power outages to approximately four hours per day as it is scheduled to receive a stock of diesel from Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) tomorrow (2 April) and was scheduled to receive another 6,000 metric tonnes (MT) stock of diesel from Lanka IOC (LIOC) last night (31 March). CEB Spokesperson Andrew Nawamani confirmed to The Morning last afternoon that it was due to receive 6,000 MT of diesel stocks from LIOC last night, and that LIOC had agreed to provide the stocks on credit to the CEB. CEB Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando, addressing a media briefing at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC) yesterday, revealed that the CPC had promised the diesel stock tomorrow. “We can generate about 1,100 megawatts (MW) of electricity using the CEB-owned and privately run thermal power plants. However, due to the lack of fuel, only two thermal power plants are running at the moment. The CPC has promised a stock of diesel on 2 April, and then, we will be able to manage the power outages to a certain level – by reducing them to about four hours per day,” he said. As of last morning, only the Barge Mounted Power Plant and the Kelanitissa Combined Cycle Power Plants (KCCP) were operating from the CEB’s thermal power plants. As a result, the public were forced to endure 13-hour-long power outages yesterday. However, by last evening, CEB officials raised alarm over the shutting down of KCCP as well. Ferdinando said that the hydropower generation is currently operating at only about 25% capacity as water levels in reservoirs have reached extremely low levels in this dry season, and that the CEB now receives an extremely interrupted supply of fuel – not a continuous one. Ferdinando stressed that if fuel stocks are continuously received, the CEB can stop power outages altogether. The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) said this week that the country may face power cuts lasting longer than 10 hours and that the country will have to spend the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in darkness if the CEB does not receive fuel and if the rains do not come in April. Ferdinando agreed with this statement by the engineers yesterday, adding that if fuel is received properly, electricity can be supplied. He added that Sri Lanka was experiencing an energy crisis, and not a power crisis. “The country has a capacity of 3,300 MW and the demand is 2,850 MW. Today, we are not able to meet this demand. This is because the generation of electricity using hydropower and thermal power have drastically reduced. The lack of hydropower is due to declining water reserves and the lack of thermal power is because we are not receiving the required fuel.” Addressing the same media briefing, State Minister of Solar Power, Wind, and Hydro Power Generation Projects Development Duminda Dissanayake noted that the immediate power crisis is due to a lack of fuel brought about by the lack of dollars in the country. “We all know that power outages are not due to the CEB or Power Ministry, but because the shortage of dollars has led to a difficulty in obtaining fuel,” he said. The Sri Lankan public endured a 10-hour-long power cut on Wednesday (30 March), with yesterday’s power cut lasting a total of 13 hours.

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