The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) warned yesterday (25) that the daily power outages will exceed three hours soon, as the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is not receiving adequate fuel stocks.
“The CEBEU wishes to inform the public that adequate fuel has not been provided to the CEB to ensure an uninterrupted power supply. The CEB is continuously requesting more fuel to be supplied in order to reduce power cuts, or to at least maintain the present three-hour power cuts,” the CEBEU said in a statement issued regarding the matter yesterday.
They warned that the situation in the power sector is much worse than what the public can perceive at present.
“Power cuts that last longer than three hours are inevitable. We do not see any commitment or plan to solve the crisis either, only measures to manage it on a day-to-day basis in order to meet political aspirations.”
Sri Lanka faced over-12-hour power cuts on a daily basis earlier this year, as the CEB could not procure enough fuel (due to foreign exchange shortages) for its thermal power plants during the dry season. With the monsoons arriving during the middle of the year, the CEB has managed to limit daily power cuts to three hours per day, with an increased reliance on hydropower and some guaranteed fuel stocks from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC). However, a long term solution to the matter is yet to be given as the forex issue continues.
Furthermore, the CEBEU said that the situation is made worse as senior-most engineers holding key posts who have the necessary subject expertise have been forcefully sidelined to facilitate the direct intervention of political authorities in day to day decision making pertaining to highly specialised subjects, leading in turn to the “collapse of the sector”.
“This is identical to how the national economy and fertiliser-related matters have been mismanaged, leading to this catastrophic situation. If key engineering-related decisions in the country continue to be taken by politicians sidelining or disregarding expert engineers’ advice, the country would revert to longer power cuts in the future,” said the CEBEU.