Power from private firms to avert crisis

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Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy, Dr. B.M.S Batagoda said private sector power suppliers will step in to supplement any shortfall of electricity. Hence there will be no power cut. He further stated that the additional purchasing of extra power will require a sum of Rs. 30 billion.

“We will fast track the tender process to purchase the required amount on a short term basis to avoid scarcity of power,” he said adding that it has been estimated that around Rs.30 billion is being spent currently to meet the country’s energy needs due to the drought resulting in the lack of hydro power generation.

“However we will not allow power cuts to take place,” he said.

According to Dr. Batagoda the purchase cost of energy is cheaper than attempting to generate power using fossil fuels. “The unit cost when purchasing power from private firms in an emergency situation is cheaper,” he said adding that in a similar situation last year the Ministry obtained power at Rs. 28 per unit. According to Dr. Batagoda the agreed unit cost from private firms on a long term basis is higher than the unit cost of power purchased in an emergency situation.

He also denied that unannounced power cuts being faced by the public were connected to the lack of hydro power generation. “The power cuts were due to a lack of fuel following the recent petroleum strike,” he said explaining that the tripping of one Japanese run power plant too contributed to the issue.

However, meanwhile the 000 this week warned of restrictions to the supply of power due to the reduction of hydro power electricity generation.

The current water levels in the reservoirs according to CEB sources have dropped drastically to 35 percent of their capacity. The CEB has, therefore, requested consumers to reduce power consumption during peak hours, which is between 6.30 pm and 10.30 pm.

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Source URL: The Sunday Observer

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