Sri Lanka power engineers warn of cascading failures
ECONOMYNEXT – Engineers at Sri Lanka’s state-run power utility, are warning that they may ramp up trade union action, which may lead to cascading failures ahead if the government does not take action on approving a low cost power generation plan.
The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union has been on ‘work-to-rule’ from May 08, saying they will not work after hours and will go by the book.
The Union in a letter released to the media said they had restored failures during the current flood disaster even though they were on work to rule, and major breakdowns were fixed.
"There is a very high risk of total failure if a breakdown of a transmission like or a major power plant is not immediately attended," the union said.
The Union said it will hold a special general meeting next week to decide on future action because no action had been taken on promises given to them by authorities.
There was a "very high possibility" to decide not to attend to failures after office hours "under any circumstances," the union said.
"If that happens no guarantee can be given to the stability of the power system in the country."
The Union says they were assured at meeting with authorities on prompt action but the two main demands on "granting approval to the CEB’s power generation plan," and "appointing professionals with higher integrity and unblemished record to the key posts" of the power regulator has not been met.
The CEB has a dispute with the regulator over the last long – term generation plan where the utility claiming that the regulator exceeded its powers in altering a long term generation plan to cut eliminate coal power in favour of liquefied natural gas citing a government policy that was not in existence.
LNG is cleaner than coal and prices are below long term trends at the moment.
There are also disputes over calculations. (Colombo/May28/2018)