Electricity TUs protest against controversial LNG deal; Walk-Out planned for 3rd Nov.

Electricity TUs protest against controversial LNG deal; Walk-Out planned for 3rd Nov.

Electricity TUs protest against controversial LNG deal; Walk-Out planned for 3rd Nov.

Written by Zulfick Farzan

29 Oct, 2021 | 5:58 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st); Electricity Workers protested across 19 work stations in the country demanding the government suspend the agreement with New Fortress Energy Inc., over the transfer of shares of the Kerawalapitiya Power Plant.

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) United Trade Union Alliance Convenor Ranjan Jayalala told reporters that all electricity workers will come to Colombo on the 3rd of November, leaving their station.

“We challenge them (Government) to try and stop us,” he said.

The Trade Union activist said the government is selling off all the resources at cheap prices, and would then fly off the US.

“As the people lined up for gas, milk powder, and sugar, a time will come when they will line up for candles as well,” he warned.

In September 2020, New Fortress Energy Inc. announced that they executed a definitive agreement for New Fortress’ investment in West Coast Power Limited (“WCP”), the owner of the 310 MW Yugadanavi Power Plant based in Colombo, along with the rights to develop a new LNG Terminal off the coast of Colombo, the capital city.

As part of the transaction, New Fortress will have gas supply rights to the Kerawalapitya Power Complex, where 310 MW of power is operational today and an additional 700 MW scheduled to be built, of which 350 MW is scheduled to be operational by 2023.

New Fortress will acquire a 40% ownership stake in WCP and plans to build an offshore liquified natural gas (LNG) receiving, storage and regasification terminal located off the coast of Colombo.

New Fortress will initially provide the equivalent of an estimated 1.2 million gallons of LNG (~35,000 MMBtu) per day to the GOSL, with the expectation of significant growth as new power plants become operational.

However, multiple factions including His Eminence Malcolm Cadinal Ranjith, Venerable Elle Gunawansa Thero, The JVP and the Samabi Jana Balavegaya have gone to courts challenging the decision taken by the Cabinet of Ministers to proceed with the controversial transaction.

In addition, 11 Political Parties affiliated with the government have also raised concerns with the controversial LNG deal.

The political movements are the Democratic Left Front (DLF), the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP), the National Freedom Front (NFF), the Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU), Ape Jana Bala Pakshaya, Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), National Congress, Eksath Mahajana Party, Sri Lanka Communist Party, the Sri Lanka Mahajana Pakshaya and the Yuthukama National Organization.

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