CEB to face legal action over delays | Sunday Observer

CEB to face legal action over delays

20 November, 2016

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka has expressed grave concern over the Ceylon Electricity Board’s intentional deviation of constructing and commissioning power plants ahead of the 2018 power crisis, adding that there were legal implications with CEB contravening sections of the Electricity Act.

Earlier this month, the CEB submitted its implementation plan to the PUCSL, which according to the PUCSL should have been made in keeping with the approved Least Cost Long Term Generation Plan (LCLTGEP). However, the letter dated November 11 sent by the CEB showed glaring delays where the commissioning of certain power plants was put off by two years and others by 18 months.

“Delays in the construction of the power plants approved by the LCLTGEP will result in a failure to meet the electricity demand during 2017-2020 period,” PUCSL said, adding that this may create issues over the continuation of supply of electricity throughout the country.

When contacted by the Sunday Observer, General Manager of CEB, Yamuna Samarasinghe said that she was unaware of the letter sent by the PUCSL as she was in Parliament, she, however, noted that the implementation plan was an actual reflection of the work that can be completed by the CEB. “So far we have not even called for tenders for the furnace oil fired power plant or proposals for some of these plants, in such an instance how can we promise to complete it in two months by January 2017,” she queried. “The implementation plan depicts a realistic situation.” She added that to make up for the delay the CEB already has contingency plans for other power plants.

The PUCSL stood their ground and in a strongly worded letter has asked the CEB to provide valid reasons for the delay and to provide evidence that the CEB has not contravened Section 24 of the Electricity Act and Condition 30 of the Electricity Transmission and Bulk Supply Licence.

Accordingly, the CEB’s latest implementation plan, has delayed the 100 mw furnace Oil Fired power plant which was to be completed by January 2017 to December 2018. Other plants include 35 mw Broadlands Hydro Power plant which has been delayed by 18 months and 100 mw Mannar Wind Power by 19 months, 3 x 35 mw gas turbines power plants by six months, 300 mw natural gas fired combined cycle by 18 months.

The PUCSL has issued a stern directive to the CEB to submit the requested information on or before November 29 this year.