Jan 17, Colombo: The Power crisis in Sri Lanka is expected to get exacerbated with the trade union action planned for tomorrow by the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Association.
The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) Engineers’ Association at a press conference held Monday said all engineers except those who are engaged in operations will be on sick leave tomorrow (18).
The purpose of the media briefing is to raise awareness about the power crisis in the country and the protest of electrical engineers tomorrow. The union says that if their demands are not heeded, they will begin work-to-rule from tomorrow.
Sri Lanka’s uninterrupted power generation continues to be in a crisis as the state-owned Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has said that it could no longer supply fuel for power generation if the CEB doesn’t pay their dues for the fuel.
Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila has officially informed the Ministry of Power that if they want to get fuel for power generation, they must pay in dollars. Accordingly, the CEB will not be provided with the required fuel after today.
Minister Gammanpila explained that the CEB owes Rs. 9.2 billion to the CPC and the CEB’s request cannot be met unless they provide the money as the CPC is also facing a serious dollar crisis and fuel could only be imported if dollars were provided.
The Minister of Power Gamini Lokuge yesterday said the fuel provided by the CPC is sufficient to provide uninterrupted power until the 18th.
Against this backdrop, Power Minister Gamini Lokuge stated today that discussions will be held tomorrow with the private fuel supplier, Lanka IOC to procure fuel for the next few days.
Minister Lokuge further stated that fuel should be found somehow for an uninterrupted supply of electricity at least until next Saturday.
However, the Ceylon Electricity Board stated that discussions will be held with the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation to obtain fuel to maintain the power supply.
The power supply to many areas has been disrupted in the last few days due to the non-supply of fuel for power generation. However, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation has taken steps to supply 1,500 metric tons of diesel daily to the Ceylon Electricity Board until tomorrow.
Against such a backdrop, the CEB’s annual loss of Rs. 5 billion has increased by another Rs. 3 billion due to power outages, according to the Ceylon Electricity Board Technical Engineers’ and Superintendents’ Association.