A top government official has attributed the suspension of a power plant that led to prolonged power interruptions to the low quality of crude oil imports as Sri Lanka struggles with a significant power outage. Janaka Ratnayake, the head of the Public Utilities Commission, asserted that high oil sulphate content had significantly reduced a power plant’s ability to produce electricity. The commission regulates the distribution of energy, water, and petroleum resources.
According to Ratnayake, ‘the furnace oil’s [fuel oil] sulphur level is too high, making it unfit for the present power plants and in violation of environmental norms’. The government official was accused a week after the Colombo administration increased power outages from 80 to 140 minutes due to a decline in power producing capacity. According to Ratnayake, diesel and fuel oil power plants produce around 10% of the nation’s electricity, with coal, hydroelectric, and renewable energy sources producing the remaining 90%.
Kanchana Wijesekara, the minister responsible for Sri Lanka’s power and energy, fiercely refuted the accusation and vowed to sue Ratnayake. Wijesekara said on Twitter that the length of the power outage was extended owing to the breakdown of one of the hydropower plants as well as a lack of funding for the importation of fuel and diesel.
‘CPC (Ceylon Petroleum Corporation) will answer Chairman, PUCSL legally on the claims of the crude oil’s quality. Diesel and fuel oil are sufficiently stocked at CPC. Due to a malfunction at Lakshapana and a lack of resources at CEB for the management of diesel and fuel oil, extended power cuts were requested by CEB’, he added. If coal is not arrived by October 25, the Ceylon Electricity Board Engineer’s Union has warned that daily power interruptions may be increased to 10 hours. According to News 1, the coal supply is now sufficient just through October 25.
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