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* Cause for power failures in Sri Lanka is lack of regular maintenance - Minister
Wed, Mar 23, 2016, 11:02 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 23, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya today told parliament that the reason for the recent island wide power breakdowns is lack of regular maintenance of the power installations.

The Minister told the parliament that the construction and installation work of the Norochchcolai coal power plant do not comply with the conditions in Sri Lanka and that is another reason affecting the power supply of the country.

Presenting the report of the ministerial committee, appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to probe the cause for countrywide power outages - three within six months- and recommend measures to avert such breakdowns in future, to parliament today, Minister Siyambalapitiya said Sri Lanka is the only country in South Asia that provides uninterrupted power to nearly 100 percent of households.

According to the Minister, currently the power authority Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) provides power to 5,592,710 residential consumers and to 688,139 industrial customers.

The Minister said the government has launched a special program to provide relief to low income households to obtain electricity services and aims to provide electricity to the entire country by next month.

He said that a new committee will be appointed to maintain and monitor the electricity supply of the country and measures have been taken to construct new power plants. Setting up of small scale power generation sources will also be encouraged, he added.

Furthermore, the Minister said solutions were found to the problems encountered in transporting coal to the Norochchcolai power plant by sea. Transportation from Trincomalee by trucks or train will be considered during about five month of rough sea times.

The committee report has also recommended resolving the problems faced by the temporary recruitment of manpower employees, which amounts to about 30 percent of the total workforce of the CEB.

The committee has also suggested appointing power managers to every state institution to monitor energy use with maximum efficiency and reduced wastage.

It has recommended taking measures to prevent the business of selling renewable energy generation licenses which has made it an obstacle for a real investor to obtain a license. The Minister said measures have been taken to revoke all the licenses issued to inactive projects and redistribute them to suitable investors.

The Minister said that action would be taken to properly managed fuel stocks. All small scale power generators of the CEB would be added to the National Grid. There are many additional power generators at factories which are the main electricity consumers. A program has been prepared to use these generators during a power shortage.

The report with short term and long term solutions arrived at by the Committee have been handed over to the President.


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