Colombo, Jan 19 (DailyMirror) – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) had been plunged into a deep crisis as the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) has been unable to supply the required stock of fuel to the Kelanitissa Power Plant which has already shut down from last night due to the lack of diesel stocks resulting in possible one and a half-hour power cuts from today.
The Daily Mirror learns that the Kelanitissa Power plant generates 300 megawatts of electricity on a daily basis but due to the lack of diesel stocks, the power plant has shut down from late last night.
Highly placed sources said that till late last night, the CPC had not indicated any possible date as to when they can supply the diesel stocks to the plant due to the lack of fuel created by the forex crisis, and this may result in one-hour power cuts during the day and 30-minute power cuts in the night daily from today.
Further, from yesterday afternoon, half of the Sapugaskanda Power Plant was also forced to shut down due to the lack of supply of heavy furnace oil but due to the CPC supplying 900 metric tonnes of furnace oil urgently yesterday, half of the plant could continue to function.
However, the plant needs 600 metric tonnes of furnace oil to function daily and if the CPC fails to supply the required stock today, the Sapugaskanda Plant will also temporarily come to a complete halt.
Sources said that the CPC however has assured that they will continue to supply the stocks of heavy furnace oil to the plant till January 22. Further, the Barge Power Plant and the Uthuru Janani Power Plant which also runs on heavy fuel will receive stocks till January 22 to continue their electricity generation.
“So after January 22, if we do not get the required fuel supply to these plants and if we do not get the diesel stocks for Kelanitissa Power plant urgently today, we will be plunged into a crisis and the whole country will have to face daily power cuts,” officials said.
Officials further said that due to the lack of continuous fuel, the CEB has been forced to use water for hydropower plants, which are usually stored for the dry months of March and April.
Officials warned that if these water stocks are used up, then by March and April, Sri Lanka will have no choice but to declare an electricity supply schedule daily where limited electricity supply will be provided per day.and if water is used up from the main reservoirs for electricity generation, then this will severely hamper irrigation, resulting in a food crisis by April due to the lack of water.
Till yesterday the CPC was in severe crisis attempting to supply the required stocks to prevent an island-wide power outage, but officials now question if the country can function with an uninterrupted power supply from today. (Jamila Husain)