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    CEB wants more power cuts; engineers warn doomsday


    November 30, 2022 - Daily Financial Times

     

      The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has sought regulatory approval to increase the power cut by a further hour.

      The request sent to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCL) is pending approval. At present, the power cut spans two hours. Separately, the Independent Engineers' Association of the CEB has warned that the country will have to experience the longest power cut in history if sufficient stocks of coal are not received before 15 April.

      Association President Nihal Weeraratne told journalists yesterday that although 38 ships of 60,000 metric tons of coal are required to fulfil the current electricity needs of the country, only four coal ships have been received so far.

      He added that the fifth shipment has been delayed pertaining to some issues. He also mentioned that coal stocks are being received for the power generation process in Norochcholai Power Plant.

      'If these 38 ships are not obtained by 15 April, then obviously there will be a huge power cut in the months of July, August and September. The first biggest power cut in history could happen. That is why we say that a dark July may come in 2023,' Weeraratne said.

      '20 ships have already been ordered and four of them have arrived in the country. There are 16 more. It is necessary for those ships to reach the island as soon as possible.'

      He further claimed that if the electricity will have to be purchased from other thermal power plants, the cost will be very high, mentioning that the hope of CEB is to generate electricity at a low cost. 'Otherwise, there will obviously be a major power outage,' he said.

      Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera on Saturday said that he will take all possible measures to ensure uninterrupted power supply by January next year.

      Talking to journalists, the Minister had said that they have taken steps to drastically reduce power cuts in the last few months. He had further pointed out that it is impossible to do that without revising the electricity charges, saying that it is best to revise the electricity bill every year in the months of January and June.

      Wijesekera had also said that they plan on boosting renewable energy in 2023 and that this is the best source of power for Sri Lanka.

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