NO POWER CUTS - Minister Lokuge | Daily News
Following discussions with President

NO POWER CUTS - Minister Lokuge

Programme to manage power crisis prepared

Following discussions between President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Power Minister Gamini Lokuge, Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila and Ministry officials yesterday, it was decided not to impose power cuts.

This is despite the CEB Engineers announcing the imposition of power cuts under four stages yesterday and today.

Following fruitful discussions with the President, it was decided not to impose power cuts, said Minister of Power Gamini Lokuge.

He noted that the President had instructed him to present a programme that can manage the power crisis without imposing power cuts.

He was speaking to the media after a discussion chaired by the President on the current power crisis.

“The discussion was very successful. We have prepared a plan to manage the situation without imposing power cuts. The discussion between the Ceylon Electricity Board and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation regarding the importation of fuel was chaired by the President.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Energy, officials from both ministries, the CEB and CPC and myself. There the President asked us to present a plan to ensure power supply without imposing power cuts,” Lokuge said. He added that the two main sources of electricity generation are hydropower and coal power.

“This crisis was caused by the fact that these days, the coal power plant with a capacity of 300 MW is out of order and is being repaired. We hope to restore that machine by the 25th or 26th. During that time we hoped to fill that gap with the Kelanitissa Power Plant, the Sapugaskanda Power Plant and the Lakdhanavi Power Plant. But in recent days there has been a shortage of fuel to operate these power plants. But, 10,000 MT of fuel was given to us by the CPC. Furnace oil was also provided. However, the stocks were running low and we planned to speak to the Government to find a way to resolve this issue,” Lokuge told the media earlier yesterday. He noted that some want to sign agreements on these power plants and buy this electricity at a higher price. However, Lokuge said that as a Government they are determined to produce power at low cost.

“These days, we are using the Kelanitissa Power Plant and the Sapugaskanda Power Plant to generate electricity and operate without any power outages. The trade union leaders and members of the JVP are not interested in providing electricity but they want power cuts to be imposed somehow. But, our hope as a Government is to provide uninterrupted electricity to the people.”

Lokuge said that last week they were able to run without power cuts. “Once we get electricity from the coal power plant we will be able to provide electricity without any hassle this month without any power cuts. We are making the necessary arrangements for that, ” he added.

Meanwhile, Minister of Energy Udaya Gammanpila said that the President had instructed the Treasury to provide Rs. 93 billion to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to settle its outstanding payments to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC).

He revealed this while speaking to reporters following a discussion held yesterday (24), chaired by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, pertaining to the existing power crisis in the country.

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