Private power plant to be paid 840mn despite lack of PUCSL approval

Private power plant to be paid 840mn despite lack of PUCSL approval

Written by Staff Writer

22 Jul, 2018 | 7:04 am

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Reports have surfaced that Secretary to the Ministry of Power and renewable energy Dr. Suren Batagoda had been given special instructions to settle an outstanding payment of Rs. 840 Million to a private power-plant in Embilipitiya for obtaining electricity without the approval of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

The long-term agreement to obtain electricity from the Private Power Plant in Embilipitiya expired in 2015 and it was renewed for another three years following an agreement reached with the CEB. However, for the purchase of electricity from the private power-plant the CEB must obtain approval from the PUCSL, yet until now the Commission had not given permission for this.

The Deputy General Manager for Energy Purchases at the CEB Sujeewa Abeywickrama had opposed making the payment in such a backdrop and speaking to News 1st earlier this month revealed that he interdicted because of it.

On the 04th of July 2018, Sujeewa Abeywickrama stated that since there was no approval obtained from the PUCSL he had informed his Additional General Manager that he cannot release the payments. When the  Additional General Manager stressed that it is mandatory to make the payments, Abeywickrama had once again refused to release the payment without a legal contract.

Following the interdiction of Abeywickrama, CEB General Manager A.K.Samarasinghe on the 17th had written to Secretary to the Ministry of Power Dr. Suren Batagoda seeking special approval to settle the payment. Though Dr. Batagoda has given permission, his letter had noted that there were administrative issues with regard to purchasing electricity from the power-plant in question.

Minister of Power and Renewable Energy Ranjith Siyambalapitiya making a statement regarding the situation said the energy requirement in the country cannot be solely met by hydroelectricity.

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