By Easwaran Rutnam
A committee appointed by the Power and Energy Ministry to probe unannounced power cuts by CEB – which is suspected of sabotaging electricity supply – has submitted a report revealing power cuts on February 3 could have been avoided, Daily Mirror learns.
The report accuses the CEB of violating conditions set by the Transmission License thereby abusing the Electricity Act. It estimates an impact of Rs.188 million to the economy owing to the curtailment of 1.4 GWh of power on February 3 between 10:45 a.m. and 05:02 p.m.
However, in a report submitted to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL), the CEB said it was forced to cut power in several areas earlier this month after the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) suspended fuel to some power stations.
The CEB said it had to shutdown the West Coast Power Plant, ACE Power in Matara and all small thermal power plants in Thulhiriya, Matugama and Kolonnawa on February 3 as the CPC suspended fuel to CEB. It said that in order to ensure there was no total system failure, steps were taken to implement load shedding.
However, the CPC had told the probe committee that it was not given any indication that CEB was planning of imposing a power interruption on February 3 due to non-availability of fuel.
The committee appointed by the Power and Energy Ministry, headed by Ministry Secretary K.H.D.K. Samarakoon, ascertained that there was enough power to ensure uninterrupted power supply on the date concerned. In its conclusion based on observations made during interviews with the relevant officers, documents received, site visits and own professional judgment, the electricity power supply interruption on February 3 was of the manual rotational load shedding type and could not be attributed to an emergency interruption.