The former chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) says the Ministry of Power & Energy has neglected the gazetted orders aiming to prevent island-wide power outages.
Janaka Ratnayake, in a statement, said the Extraordinary Gazette 2296/38, published in September 2022 when he was in office as the PUCSL chairman, had issued 7 recommendations to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Power & Energy Ministry pertaining to preventing major power failures.
Ratnayake said the massive blackout experienced in the country last evening, which lasted for more than 5 hours, has resulted in a direct loss of Rs.6 billion to the CEB, adding that the current Minister of Power & Energy should be held accountable for this.
“A similar blackout happened in the country on December 03, 2021, and the demand of 10 gigawatt hours could not be met. It led to a financial damage of around Rs.1,500 crore (Rs.15 billion). Although last night’s power outage was restored within a few hours, it has caused a loss of Rs. 6 crore (Rs. 6 billion).”
Ratnayake said the situation caused more damage as one generating unit of the Norochcholai power plant was left out of order amidst the power outage. “If we get electricity from fossil fuel power plants as a result, a loss of Rs. 60 is incurred per unit. Therefore, the total loss incurred after yesterday’s major power outages amounts to approximately Rs. 10 billion.”