Islandwide power outage inquiry: Committee report due today

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

The report of the committee appointed to look into last week’s power outage will be presented to Minister of Power Dullas Alahapperuma today (24).

Ministry of Power Spokesman Sulakshana Jayawardena told The Morning that the report will highlight the reasons for the blackout and the actions that should be taken to prevent such an error in the future.

However, according to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), last Monday’s (17) massive blackout, caused due to a technical fault at the Kerawalapitiya Grid Substation, crippling the entire Norochcholai Coal Power Plant by forcing the country to go for intermittent power cuts, is now claimed to have been caused by a human error.

CEB Chairman Eng. Vijitha Herath told The Morning that the blackout was experienced due to a mistake by an electrical operator during maintenance work at the Kerawalapitiya Grid Substation.

Accordingly, the CEB has identified that the issue had started at the 220 KW Kerawalapitiya Grid Substation where the maintenance work had been mostly completed; while carrying out the final phase of the said maintenance work, a mistake had been committed by the Electrical Superintendent in Charge.

A sudden power outage occurred islandwide on Monday, 17 August plunging the entire country into darkness and disrupting people’s daily functions, businesses, as well as government operations.