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* Fuel will be given to CEB only if dollars are provided - Energy Minister
Mon, Jan 17, 2022, 10:34 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 17, Colombo: Udaya Gammanpila, Minister of Energy has informed the Ministry of Power that from now on fuel will be provided to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) only if dollars are provided.

Accordingly, the Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila has stated that holding discussions about fuel crisis no use and fuel will not be provided to the CEB without dollars after yesterday.

Minister of Power Gamini Lokuge yesterday said he hopes to have a discussion today to obtain more fuel at least until the 22nd of this month.

Minister Gammanpila said that several power plants of the CEB were shut down last week due to lack of fuel and that 3,000 metric tons of diesel had been provided by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) on two occasions to restart the plants.

He said that if the CEB provided dollars, it would be possible to import and supply petroleum, which would take about a week.

He said that the CPC does not have enough fuel to supply the CEB and that vehicles would not be able to run if the existing fuel was used to generate electricity.

He said that if there was no fuel, the power supply could be cut off for two hours and the situation could be managed, but such a measure cannot be taken for vehicle transport.

He also said that there is no middle ground except that petrol stations can display that there is fuel or no fuel.

Minister Gammanpila explained that the CEB owes Rs. 9.2 billion and the SriLankan Airlines Rs. 6.5 billion as dues to the CPC for fuel and both state-owned companies have been informed in advance to pay the dues if they needed fuel.

The Minister further said that SriLankan Airlines had given dollars but the CEB had not given such dollars.

Minister Gammanpila said that the CEB was initially told to inform the CPC of the required amount of diesel and fuel oil in advance but the Board had informed that no fuel or diesel was required until the end of January.

“However, the board informed me on the 11th that they needed diesel from the 13th.”

The Minister said that such an urgent request could not be met at a time when the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation was also facing a serious dollar crisis and fuel could only be imported if dollars were provided.

 

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