Interim power crisis measure; Three projects in next two years -
COLOMBO: Two medium scale hydro power projects and the Kerawalapitiya
Project will be implemented in the next two years as an interim measure
to address the power crisis, said Power and Energy Minister John
Seneviratne addressing a felicitation ceremony of Ceylon Electricity
Board held at the BMICH on Wednesday.
Minister Seneviratne said that the implementation of the Norachcholai
Coal Power Plant and Upper Kotmale Hydro Power Projects were two
alternatives to the high cost electricity generated using diesel.
The Minister presented awards to 190 employees who had completed 30
years of service with the CEB by the years 2004, 5 and 6 at the
The Minister regarded them as the life-blood of the CEB and said that
the most productive part of their lives had been spent at the CEB for
the benefit of the people of the country.
"Electricity had been discovered hundreds of years ago and it was the
employees of the CEB and its predecessors who were responsible for
bringing it to every nook and corner of the country." he said.
"Electricity is one of the essential factors indispensable for
development. The consumers would be at a loss in an event of a power
cut." The Minister emphasised that CEB employees are better equipped to
bring the message to the people of the importance of energy conservation
in the face of currently soaring oil prices in the world market in order
to avoid higher tariff and power cuts.
"The CEB is at a critical juncture today with dearth of exploitable
potential water sources and the high fuel cost."
He pointed out that CEB had incurred five billion rupees during the
first quarter of the year due to the heavy dependency on diesel. "Diesel
accounts for 60% of total power generated.
We are depending too much on diesel and as a result the CEB is
incurring a loss of Rs. 4.50 for every unit of electricity generated
using oil." "Although the tariff is high the consumption is still very
high," the Minister complained.
The Minister emphasized the need to restructure the CEB in order to
provide an effective service, but reiterated that it would not be
privatised. He said that he was determined to present the draft Bill to
Parliament seeking to restructure the CEB early next month."
The Bill was to be presented to Parliament this week. But we put it
off for next month due to the objections of the JVP. The JVP had agreed
to discuss the matter with their parliamentary group," said the
Deputy Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Secretary to the Ministry
M.M.C. Fernando, CEB Chairman Chula Delgoda and General Manager Ranjit
Fonseka also spoke.