ECONOMYNEXT – Taking a U-turn from its previous day announcement, power regulators Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) on Saturday said the scheduled power shedding either may not take place or reduced depending on the fuel availability.
“As the government has pledged to minimize power cuts from today, the scheduled power shedding may not take place or reduced depending on the availability of fuel stocks,” Janaka Ratnayake, PUCSL Chairman said on Saturday (05).
Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board has been forced to run down its hydro reservoirs after earlier requests for two hour power cuts were denied.
As a result the CEB has insufficient water for frequency control, insufficient water in the Kelani River cascade to supply Colombo with drinking water until rains come in April/May, and inability to supply the required power to areas covered by 132kV grid due to running down Samanalawewa reservoir.
On Friday, PUCSL, the power regulator scheduled a power cut of 4 hours on Saturday March 05 and 2.5 hours on Sunday March 06, reducing the power cut duration from the daily peak of 7.5 hours after fuel supplies improved slightly.
The state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has said there is a deficit of 423 Megawatts (MW) for the day peak, 253 MW for the evening peak and 407 MW for night peak for Saturday (5). The utility provider also has said the power deficit for Sunday is 110 Megawatts (MW) for the day peak.
Manufacturers say they are inconvenienced due to sudden changes in PUCSL’s power cut schedule time to time though they welcome any reduction in the power cut duration.
Newly appointed power Minister Gamini Lokuge on Friday (04) told reporters, three diesel ships have come to the port and from March 18 onward, Sri Lanka will receive fuel that comes from the Indian credit line that will be enough till May.
Industry officials, however, say until rains return to fill the hydro reservoirs there has to be power cuts even if all the thermal plants are run. (Colombo/ March 5/2022)