PUCSL denies CEB engineers’ allegations | Sunday Observer

PUCSL denies CEB engineers’ allegations

The Public Utilities Commission Sri Lanka (PUCSL) says that they have not sent a fresh plan to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), but merely made amendments to the plan that was forwarded by the CEB.

PUCSL Director General Damitha Kumarasinghe made this comment in response to the CEB Engineer’s Union’s decision to resort to trade union action alleging that PUCSL has completely disregarded the regeneration plan forwarded by the CEB and sent a fresh plan to CEB to implement.

Speaking to the Sunday Observer, convener of the CEB Engineer’s Union Saumya Kumarawadu stated that PUCSL is not vested with the powers to introduce a fresh plan but to make recommendations, amendments and approve the plan forwarded by the CEB. And in protest the engineers have decided not to take part in CEB technical committees.

“Currently we don’t have an approved generation plan. The plan we forwarded has not been approved by the PUCSL and they have given us a plan asking us to implement it. We don’t accept that therefore we don’t have an approved generation plan. PUCSL does not have the authority to draw up a plan and send it to the CEB to implement it,” Kumarawadu said. According to Kumarawadu, it is the CEB that has the technical know-how and the experience to draw up the regeneration plan and not the PUCSL.

PUCSL, DG Damitha Kumarasinghe in response stated that even if it is a fresh plan the CEB would have to accept that since the maintenance of power supply is a responsibility of the PUCSL.

The second allegation that the union based their decision to resort to trade union action was that the PUCSL has approved a plan which is natural gas based. According to Kumarawadu only opting for LNG can be an unnecessary risk provided if it becomes difficult to find supplies of LNG.

“We have the necessary technical knowhow and the people who are experienced in drawing up these plans. They could always make recommendations as to changes that the CEB should adopt if they are not ready to approve the plan. They have sent a plan that consists only of natural gas (LNG) our plan consists of a mixture. PUCSL discounted these allegations stating that It’s a misconception that the PUCSL is only rooting for LNG.”

“If you look at the government policy Sri Lanka will be moving towards an energy self sufficient country by 2030. So we clearly instructed CEB to prepare the next plan so that 60 percent of the energy is from renewable energy sources by 2030,” he said.

Accordingly the PUCSL expects that by 2030 the mix of power generation in Sri Lanka to be about 60 – 65 percent to be generated of renewable, 20- 25 percent gas and 16- 20 percent coal. The existing Norochcholai 900 MW coal to which only another 1500 MW of natural gas needs to be included by 2030.