By Ifham Nizam
Despite the addition of 300MW the third unit of the Norochcholai Power Plant Complex (altogether 900MW) has supplied to the national grid, the Ceylon Electricity Board Generation Division says the amount is not sufficient to meet the shortfall in the supply of electricity.
The CEB engineers say 300MW will have to be purchased from Independent Power Producers (IPPs).
An official said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had stressed that the CEB must not go for long term emergency purchases from the private sector. However, he has not opposed purchasing from the IPPs.
CEB Additional General Manager cum Media Spokesman Andrew Navamani told The Island they were expecting 10,000MT or 10 million litres diesel for the Kelanistissa Power Plant Complex.
Minister of Power Gamini Lokuge earlier instructed the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) outgoing Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando to negotiate with private power plants to obtain 300MW.
He told The Island that consumers did not need to fear as they would do their utmost to supply power continuously.
From the Framefive machine at Kelanitissa Power Plant Complex CEB would utilise 18MW by today. This would be chiefly used to cover up partly the peak demand between 6.30 p.m. and 9.30 p.m.
Minister Lokuge also said that CEB was planning to directly purchase fuel through the Indian Oil Company (IOC) within this week.
He said a decision had already been taken regarding the fuel required by the CEB for next week.
Delays in securing the required diesel and furnace oil from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) forced the CEB to shut down several thermal power plants leading to power cuts.
According to Media Minister Dullas Alahapperuma CEB might be able to import the required fuel under the USD 500 million fuel credit line granted by India.
He also said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had directed the Central Bank and the Treasury to provide USD 50 million to release two oil shipments anchored off Port of Colombo.
President also had ordered the Treasury to intervene to settle the Rs.93 billion arrears owed by CEB to CPC.
These outstanding payments would be settled in stages with Treasury support.
The CEB has been incurring losses since last September with the end of the rainy season, as the utility provides electricity on a heavily subsidised rates to the consumer.
The Island learns that there are Rs.50 billion worth electricity bills in arrears at both CEB and LECO.
Unlike other institutions, CEB and LECO had given their customers time to settle the payments on an installment basis.
Department of Irrigation extends flood warnings issued to the basin areas of the Nilwala, Kalu and Gin rivers
The Amber flood warnings issued by the Hydrology and Disaster Management Division of the Department of Irrigation for the basins of the Nilwala, Gin and Kalu Rivers and the sub basin of the Kuda Ganga which is a tributary of the Kalu Ganga at 9.00am on Friday(28) has been extended for another twenty four (24) hours and will be effective until 9.00am on Saturday (30).
Residents and motorists driving through the area are requested to pay necessary attention to the warning.
Kerala cannabis with a street value of over Rs. 33 million held by Navy in Kareinagar
A special search operation conducted by the Navy in the beach area of Pumattei on the Kareinagar Island, Jaffna in the dark hours of 27th September 2023 led to the seizure of a dinghy loaded with over 100kg (wet weight) of Kerala cannabis believed to have a street value of over Rs 33 million.
The 49 packages of Kerala Cannabis were in three sacks found in the dinghy. The consignment of Kerala cannabis and the dinghy were taken into naval custody.
Crystal Methamphetamine valued at over Rs. 15 million held in Dehiwala
A coordinated search operation conducted by the Navy and Police Crime Division, Colombo led to the apprehension of a suspect with about 1kg and 10g of Crystal Methamphetamine (Ice) in the Dehiwala area on the evening of 27th September 2023.
The gross street value of seized drugs is believed to be over Rs. 15 million.
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