The Island: CEB engineers threaten trade union action

by Ifham Nizam

The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) officials yesterday warned of trade union action unless the government implemented the proposed Least Cost Long Term Generation Plan. They alleged that the country lost Rs. 200 billion as the Sampur coal-fired power plant had not been constructed.

Fielding questions, Former CEBEU President/ Executive Member Janaka Aluthge told The Island that the Long Term Generation Plan had to be implemented urgently.

He said that high Ministry officials and the electricity regulator, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) were the biggest stumbling blocks that had delayed their proposals and recommendations.CEBEU President Saumya Kumarawadu, addressing a media briefing yesterday in Colombo said that the country had lost Rs. 42 billion as the CEB had failed to adopt the Medium Term Solutions. “We recommended constructing power stations which are fueled by Heavy Furnace oil (HFO) to produce electricity at Rs. 20 or d Rs. 24 per unit.”

He said 100MW and 24×4 power stations fueled by HFO had been delayed by the Ministry Secretary. Due to the 15-year delay in constructing the first coal fired plant, the country had lost Rs. 900 billion, he added.

Former CEBEU President/ Executive Member Athula Wanniarachchi said they would not endorse emergency power purchases due to exorbitant costs.

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