Coal reserves to run out by October end – PUCSL

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Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) Chairman Janaka Ratnayake warned that existing coal stocks will be depleted by the end of October, resulting in an increase in the number of hours of daily power outage.

He noted that current coal stocks are only sufficient until 25 October, and that if the Government does not take action to import enough coal by the fourth week of October, all three coal power plants will be forced to close. Ratnayake told the Media yesterday (8) that the chosen coal supplier did not even submit the performance bond due to technical issues.

He said, two shipments of coal are on their way and could be imported at a high cost, but there is nothing he can do.

“The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) should be helped in their bid to get the coal they need to avoid power outages in October,” he said.

He stated that if the CEB or the Government do not allow sufficient coal imports beginning in the fourth week of October, the country will lose nearly 900 MW of electric power to the main grid. He also claimed that there could be power outages even though the country has other sources of energy such as renewables like hydro and mini hydro.

Speaking further on sufficient renewable energy and hydropower, he highlighted that the CEB is currently producing around 70 per cent renewable energy and that with sufficient rainfall in the hydro catchment areas, it can generate up to 60 per cent of the required hydropower.

“Two of the three coal power plants are operational. We hope that the current situation will continue until the end of this year,” he said.

BY Thameenah Razeek