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Thursday July 18th, 2024

Sri Lanka’s CEB maintains 7.5-hour power cut on Tuesday; Fuel deficit, drought weigh

ECONOMYNEXT –  Sri Lanka’s state-owned Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has imposed a power cut up to 7. 5 hours on Tuesday, March 08 with thermal power plants have run out of fuel to generate electricity, however, the utility provider said the situation can change depending on the fuel availability for the day.

Areas E and F will experience power cuts of 5 hours between 0800am to 1800pm and 2.5 hours’ power cuts between 1800pm and 2300pm, a provisional schedule released by the CEB showed.

Areas P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W will have power cuts up to 2 hours between 0800am and 1700pm and one hour between 1700pm and 2100pm.

The CEB said “there will be extended power cuts throughout the day to limit further hydro drawdown without prior notice” in case of “any thermal plant unavailability other mentioned in the statement.

According to CEB Only Sapugaskanda B, Uthuru Janani and Kelenitissa Combined Cycle power plants have enough fuel to run for 1.6 days, two days and 1.3 days respectively.

Other plants do not have enough fuel to run for another 12 hours.

Even though the CEB has issued the power shedding schedule, the power regulator of the country, the Public Utility Commission of Sri Lanka, has not published any approved schedule by the time of writing.

CEB said there is a power deficit of 398 MW for the day peak, 518 MW for the evening peak and 409 MW for the night peak.

Commenting on the power situation in the country to the reporters on Monday (7) morning, the Chairman of the PUCSL Janaka Rathnayake said, if the authorities can get all the thermal power plants that run on furnace oil, diesel and Naphtha, power shedding can be limited to 1.5 – 2 hours a day for the next 45 days until the rain starts.

“We want to give the electricity to the general public without any power cuts. The decision for the power cut is taken by the CEB according to the hydro, thermal and other power generation capacity they have” Rathnayake told reporters.

“From December 10 till last week, even though the CEB requested for power cuts we gave them the minimum number of hours, but from last week due to the fuel shortage we had to go for longer power cuts.”

He said government authorities are working on getting more diesel in the coming days.

“We got to know that a ship with 30,000 metric tons of furnace oil came to the port and it will start unloading tomorrow night after the initial quality tests are done”

“There will be a reduction in power cuts if we get all the fuel, naphtha, furnace and diesel. Then we can add another 2000-2100 MW to the main grid. If we can manage hydro power to generate only around 4-5 GW per day in the next 45 days, then we can limit the power cuts to 1.5 – 2 hours” (Colombo/ March 7/2022)

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Sri Lanka airport will need tech to cope as volumes set to top pre-Covid levels: SITA

ECONOMYNEXT – Passenger traffic at Sri Lanka’s main airport in Katunayake is set to exceed pre-pandemic volumes by year-end and technology can be used to address congestion, an international aviation technology company said.

Self-service check-in, biometrics, reducing passenger touch points and off airport processing are some of the strategies now used to boost efficiency.

Passenger traffic, which includes regional transit passengers, at the Bandaranaike International Airport has topped 4 million by April and is likely reach 9.5 to 10 million passengers by year, which is more than the pre-pandemic level in 2019.

“The message is positive on Sri Lanka,” David Lavorel, Chief Executive, Société Internationale de Télécommunications Aéronautiques (SITA), a company that was founded by airlines and is currently serving carriers, airports and border agencies.

“You have growth coming. Of course, you have challenges if you do nothing. But I think your authorities are working on taking action.”

Sri Lanka airport agency, the immigration department and SriLankan Airlines have a unified approach to solving coming challenges, Lavorel said, after meeting Sri Lanka authorities.

SITA provides communications backbone that allows airlines to check-in passengers and move and track baggage across global airports.

ITA technology is also used by airline back-office and air traffic controllers to track and manage aircraft as they move around the world, using Inmarsat and Irridium satellite services as well ground stations that are contracted with the company.

Sri Lanka is building a second terminal with Japanese funding which was delayed after Sri Lanka defaulted on its debt and is now three to four years away. Meanwhile an attempt to build an interim airport is also bogged down.

Sri Lanka to build temporary terminal at BIA

The airport can use existing space more efficiently by using new technology and re-engineering passenger processing by reducing ‘touchpoints’ which is currently at seven, according to SITA officials.

SriLankan Airlines has deployed self-service kiosks using SITA technology.

Already about 20 percent of SriLankan passengers are using the self service check-in kiosks, Sumesh Patel, President, Asia Pacific said.

Biometrics is another technology that is used to process passengers fast, by border agencies as well as airlines.

Using biometrics British Airways reduced boarding an Airbus A380 from 50 minutes to 20 minutes, Patel said.

SIA has also discussed using optimal technology in the second terminal but detailed design of technological deployment is perhaps two years away.

Deployment of passenger processing, including self service depends on the needs of airlines, where some budget airlines prefer more self service and the strategy of the airport.

“Once the airport airport has decided, and we come with advice on the technological side,” Lavorel said.

SITA was already serving airports across the world, passenger profiles and help airports come up with optimal tech use.

Sri Lanka’s airport in addition will could also continue to grow 10 to 12 percent year on year, until the second terminal came in. All over the world airports faced infrastructure constraints as it was simply not possible to expand terminals to keep up with passenger traffic.

“We look at what current constrain on the infrastructure is, what is the passenger growth expected, what are the technologies that can be deployed and also the passenger profile.

“Not all airports we can do 100 percent self-service, because there are different passenger profiles.” (Colombo/July18/2024)

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Sri Lanka to conduct threat assessments for presidential candidates

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s President Ranil Wickremesinghe has submitted a cabinet paper proposing security measures for presidential candidates and former presidents, following the recent attack on former US President Donald Trump during a campaign rally in the USA.

“This proposal suggests the appointment of a committee to conduct threat assessments and provide necessary security for Presidential candidates as well as former Presidents,” a statement from his media division said.

The committee will include the Secretary of the Ministry of Public Security as Chair, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector General of Police, the Chief of National Intelligence, and the Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police/Elections.

A Deputy Inspector General of Police will be appointed to oversee all security arrangements.

The committee and the designated officer will work closely with the Election Commission to ensure seamless coordination of security arrangements, the PMD said.

After today, July 17, Sri Lanka’s Election Committee is empowered to announce a date for the presidential polls due to be held this year.

Minister of Foreign Affairs M U M Ali Sabry has said the election will be held on October 5 or 12.

Members of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) have said that the government should be accountable for the security of Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, the SJB’s presidential candidate. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.80/304.00 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed almost flat at 303.80/304.00 to the US dollar on Wednesday, from 303.70/304.00 to the US dollar on Tuesday, dealers said, while bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.60/75 percent, down from 10.82/92 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2027 closed at 11.60/38 percent, down from 11.65/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed at 11.72/78 percent, down from 11.80/90 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 12.05/10 percent, down from 12.05/20 percent. (Colombo/Jul17/2024)

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