CEB to earmark four zones as day and night power-cuts come into effect

CEB to earmark four zones as day and night power-cuts come into effect

CEB to earmark four zones as day and night power-cuts come into effect

Written by Staff Writer

15 Mar, 2016 | 8:06 pm

The Ceylon Electricity Board has decided to impose seven and a half hour power cuts on a daily basis. The country has been divided into four zones and power will be disrupted for five and a half hours during the daytime and two hours at night.

The CEB announced that each zone would experience power cuts from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.  12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 pm and 8:00 p.m. to midnight respectively. The public was severely inconvenienced today as well as a result of intermittent power cuts.

News1st made inquiries from the Public Utilities Commission, the regulatory authority of the power sector on whether there is any redress available for the consumer, to cover losses incurred.

Director General of Public Utilities Commission, Damitha Kumarasinghe stated that a regulation has been prepared, titled the Service Standards Regulation. He said:

I believe it will come into law in two to three months. It will not consider individual incidents but if the service criteria is not met within a year, then the licensees will be able to seek compensation.

The CEB is unable to supply power at capacity at present because the Norochcholai Coal Power Plant which supplies 900 Megawatts or 42 percent of the national grid, is inoperational. A group including the Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, inspected the power plant on Tuesday.

Minister of Power and Renewable Energy, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya stated that when the machinery is inoperational, it takes three days to reach the ideal temperature to switch on generators, which has resulted in power cuts in the country.

He further noted that it is a disparity between the demand and supply of electricity since they have a shortfall of about 300 to 400 megawatts, until the plant is up and running.

Analysts in the power and energy sector warned against continuing dependence on coal power plants as a long term power generation source.

Chairman of the Strategic Enterprise Management Agency, Ashoka Abeygunawardena stated that the planning process of the three power plants was not done by utilizing proper engineering knowledge.

Explaining further, he noted that an agreement has been reached with the Indian government to construct a coal power plant which generates 500 mega watts in Trincomalee.

He added that with the situation at hand,  it is correct to consider a substitute or to switch to natural gas or renewable energy methods with India, instead of the 500 megawatt coal power plant, because construction activities have not yet started of the Sampur Plant.

Therfore, he noted that it is better to amend the agreement with the Indian government to a system that is more suitable for the country, and to look whether there is a more sustainable system.

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