Comments /926 Views / Tuesday, 29 March 2016 00:32
By Uditha Jayasinghe
The Power and Energy Ministry held special discussions yesterday on demand management strategies to deal with increased consumption as well as reconnecting private power producer AES Kelanitissa to the grid.
Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) officials acknowledged that uninterrupted power supply was additionally challenged by AES Kelanitissa, a 168 MW diesel fuel fired combined cycle power station, requiring repairs. The smaller power plant would be back on line from Friday, assured CEB spokesman Sulakshana Jayawardana.
Parallel to the demand management strategies are efforts to purchase two privately owned power plants and procure emergency power. Both measures are to be presented before the Cabinet, the Spokesman said.
“Discussions have revolved on purchasing Haladhanavi and Embilipitiya power plants. The proposals were outlined by Power Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya in parliament last week. The new efforts will be announced to the public as soon as possible,” he said.
However, COPE Chairman and JVP MP Sunil Handunnetti had told media several lapses by the CEB had been unearthed over private power purchasing agreements while questioning officials last week. COPE had recommended the CEB prepare and submit a maintenance plan. He had also pointed out the power purchasing agreements had not been audited despite costing an estimated Rs.200 billion.
To provide emergency power Cabinet will consider importing two to three large scale generators for a period of three months or until the prevailing drought ends. Deputy Power Minister Ajith Perera had insisted the Government would adhere to a transparent tender procedure.
“We have to reduce the power consumption with better power management. We hope to offer various rewards and discounts for consumers as an incentive to save power at this difficult period by broadening our power management program,” Perera told media.
The discussions on Monday focused on both short and long term consumption and strategies to manage it effectively so the economy would not be harmed.
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