Ministry seeks Cabinet mediation to resolve CEB, PUCSL fallout

The Power and Renewable Energy Ministry will seek a Cabinet directive to implement a long term Power generation plan, amidst differences of opinion between the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Electricity sector regulator- Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

Power and Renewable Energy Ministry Secretary Dr B.M.S Batagoda told the Sunday Times the decision to seek Cabinet approval was because the CEB was in favour of a mixed system with Coal Power and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) plants, while the PUCSL was for restricting the Power plants to LNG and other renewable sources.

He said, as a result of the disagreement, they were not in a position to implement long term Power generation plans, and the Cabinet will have to take a policy decision on the Power generation plans to be implemented.

Dr Batagoda said that, consequent to the Cabinet’s policy decision, the two institutions will be required to follow the plan.

CEB Engineers Union President Saumaya Kumarawadu told the Sunday Times that the PUCSL does not have the legal right to insist on LNG plants, as Coal Power plants too were necessary to ensure Energy security. “We should have both types of plants for security,” he added.

“We will have no option, but to stop being involved in setting up Power plants, if the PUCSL plan is approved,” he added.

He said they were also opposed to seeking a Cabinet directive to decide on the Power plants, as the CEB has its own Planning branch for such projects .

A PUCSL spokesman said they were opposed to Coal Power plants, due to environmental issues, while the LNG was more cost effective in the long term.

The PUCSL this week released a detailed report on “Electricity Supply 2020 and Beyond: Challenges and Recommendations”, which recommends short-term, medium-term and long-term solutions to ensure long-term Energy security in a sustainable manner.

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