No emergency power is needed - Ravi | Daily News


No emergency power is needed - Ravi

Requests public to conserve electricity :

Power, Energy and Business Development Minister Ravi Karunanayake in a sudden reversal of his proposal yesterday said there is no need for emergency power purchases in the country as at now.

The Minister, speaking to the media during an inspection tour at Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) National Electricity Grid Control Center in Ethul Kotte, said his ministry’s previous proposal to purchase emergency power was to prepare for a power crisis.

“We predicted that there could be demand-supply issues due to scarcity of rain. Previously, the emergency power purchases were notified only a week in advance, but this time we wanted to proceed with at least a month to ensure transparency. I request the public to switch off at least two bulbs and support power conservation.That way we can save 100 megawatts a year and we can do away with emergency power purchases. At this particular time, we certainly do not want any emergency power,” the Minister said.

The minister presented a Cabinet paper on January 11 seeking approval to procure 100 mw of electricity generators on lease from February 20, 2019 to February 20, 2020 under short term power purchase agreements. The cabinet memorandum titled “procurement of additional power on short term basis in order to provide an uninterrupted power supply to the country” was approved by Cabinet on January 14.

Karunanayake in his Cabinet paper also sought approval “to implement the procurement under crash procurement” giving only “10 days to submit bids for commencing the commercial operations by three weeks”. It was later revised based on the President’s observations submitted on January 21. “It has been proposed to provide a short period of 10 days to submit bids for procurement of additional power from power plants owned by private sector organizations. Since that period is insufficient I propose that a minimum period of three weeks be granted for the said purpose,” the President had stated in his observations.

Finance State Minister Eran Wickramaratne, while agreeing in principle to the proposal, “in view of the need for maintaining uninterrupted power supply in the country” had however stressed that it must be subject to “minimum required compliance to the relevant tender procedures decided by Cabinet”.

“Deviations from salient features from the procurement guidelines will stall the entire procurement process in the event of international arbitrations.

The minimum time period applicable for submission of bids as well as due period for appeal process may be decided by Cabinet in line with the procurement best practices to ensure transparency and the value for money,” Wickramaratne had stated.

Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka in his written observation on January 16 stated: “In the case of procuring emergency power, a ‘capacity charge’ has to be paid by the CEB which is applicable when there is even no generation. Accordingly in 2017, unit cost of emergency power procurement was Rs 32.28 and the unit cost was Rs 52.06 in 2018.

There is no capacity charge in the case of self-generation”.


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