The Free Trade Zone Manufacturers’ Association (FTZMA) expressed concerns over the electricity tariff hike proposed by the Power ministry.
Speaking to Ceylon Today, FTZMA secretary Dhammika Fernando stated that a reasonable tariff hike could be accepted, but a multi-fold rate hike would result in increase in cost of production, which could lead to Sri Lanka losing orders to regional countries.
Fernando welcomed the Power Minister’s idea of installing roof top solar panels. However, he claimed that that wouldn’t be sufficient to produce even 30 per cent of the power requirement of the free trade zones. Fernando added that the power storage battery is also very expensive.
He further claimed that the CEB was delaying making payments to the industries which installed solar power under the net plus scheme, which is another major issue discouraging solar panel installation. The FTZMA Secretary suggested that the Power Ministry look for investors to start solar farms in the free trade zones which could supply power to the zones, without connecting to the national grid.
By Rajiesh Seetharam