In a desperate measure to ensure and match the increasing demand for power, the government has proposed a move to purchase electricity from private institutions which have stand-by generators by early next year.
Accordingly, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has obtained a database of hotels and other institutions that were equipped with stand-by power generators.
President, CEB Engineers Union, Athula Wanniarachchi said that Sri Lanka’s power generation was not at a crucial juncture despite the prevalent drought. “We hope to start purchasing power from these institutions by February next year,” he said.
The previous government had cancelled agreements with independent power suppliers a few years ago. However, officials in the CEB stated that there was a need for alternative plans to obtain power after the increase in demand.
Meanwhile, Wanniarachchi said that the current drought situation was yet to have an impact on hydro power generation, but added there was no need for drastic actions for the moment.
He said that there was 52% water in reservoirs. “Usually in the past we get rain by mid October and reservoirs fill up to spill level. It is not the case this time,” he said.
“There is a certain amount of uncertainty, but it is not a serious threat as of now,” he ensured.
He further added that power generation was carried out smoothly since the thermal and coal plants were fully operational. “We produce 80% of the energy through thermal plants, 50% of which is through Norochcholai. If there are problems with one of the plants then it will be an issue. We are already using water sparingly,” Wanniarachchi said.
In addition, the CEB is also in the process of finalizing the procurement process of small generators that would generate power up to 50MW.