Auditor General’s report on procurement of coal to be handed to COPE

Auditor General’s report on procurement of coal to be handed to COPE

Auditor General’s report on procurement of coal to be handed to COPE

Written by Staff Writer

07 Aug, 2016 | 8:40 pm

While the whole world shifts towards greener, cleaner energy sources including natural gas, it would appear that a section of Sri Lankan society is adamantly clinging to coal. Against this backdrop, reports have come to light that attempts are afoot to grant the controversial coal tender to the same company.

Coal has been purchased on five separate occasions since the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant was commissioned. On the last purchase, the price agreed on with the supplier Swiss Singapore Pvt Ltd, was 54 dollars and 40 cents per metric ton of coal.

1.0647 million metric tons of coal were purchased from the company at a cost of 57.93 million US dollars.

A total of 1.125 million metric tons of coal had been purchased under the spot tender system, introduced during the tenure of Patali Champika Ranawaka as the Minister of Power and Energy.

The cost per metric ton was 49 dollars and 83 cents. The total cost was 56.08 million US dollars.

The Auditor General’s report notes that a sum of 4.88 million US dollars could have been saved by the state, if coal was purchased at the spot tender price of 49 dollars and 83 cents per metric ton, instead of at a price of 54 dollars and 40 cents as per the agreement with Swiss Singapore Pte Ltd.

Speaking to News 1st, Auditor General Gamini Wijeysinghe noted that the report containing the Auditor General’s observations on this transaction, would be submitted to the Committee on Public Enterprises in Parliament, on Friday.

Activists allege that plans are afoot in such a backdrop to grant the tender to Swiss Singapore Pte Ltd once again.

Meanwhile, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday August 7, that an independent committee appointed by the Minister of Power and Energy, had found that the Minister’s initiative to introduce spot tenders for the procurement of coal has resulted in a saving of nearly 1.1 billion rupees.

However, only a portion of the country’s requirement had been purchased through spot tenders.

While many countries around the world are moving away from coal, why does Sri Lanka adamantly cling to the dirty fuel?

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