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FSP warns of threat to continued electricity supply 

  • Claims risk of daily power cuts for few hours from early Jan. 2022

BY Pamodi Waravita 

The Frontline Socialist Party (FSP) said yesterday (17) that there is a risk to the country’s continued and uninterrupted electricity supply, and portended the risk of daily power cuts for a couple of hours from early next year, as they claimed that the recent tenders opened up for the procurement of coal by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) have not, as is the case with the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery, had any bidders due to the country’s “US dollar crisis”.

“From what we have learnt, the CEB’s recent tenders that were opened to procure coal, utilised in the generation of electricity, have not had any bidders. These days, electricity is being supplied mainly through hydropower. However, by early January 2022, the risk of at least a few hours of power cuts per day is there. This is all due to the dollar crisis in the country,” opined FSP Education Secretary Pubudu Jayagoda at a press conference held yesterday. 

He added that it is a similar issue that the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) is currently facing, with the closure of its Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery. 

“Tenders to procure crude oil for the Refinery have not had any bidders. This is the real issue, despite government politicians claiming a number of other reasons,” said Jayagoda. 

Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila said on 15 November that the Sapugaskanda Oil Refinery will be closed for at least 50 days to properly manage the limited foreign exchange in the country and to use that only for the import of essential items. Sri Lanka is currently grappling with a severe foreign exchange crisis, alongside reported shortages of several essential items including sugar, milk powder, and liquid petroleum gas (LPG).