Power Ministry seeks AG’s help on coal tender

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The Ministry of Power and Energy has requested assistance from the Attorney General in providing legal clearance for the coal tender of the Lakvijaya Power Plant, in a backdrop where operations at the Kelanitissa and Lakvijaya power plants running the risk of coming to a complete standstill by November 2022.

According to a Ministry spokesman, the awarded supplier has decided to suspend contract performance due to the filing of a Fundamental Rights Petition.

The Supreme Court recently granted time to the respondents of a fundamental rights petition filed against the coal tender for the Lakvijaya Power Plant to submit limited objections.

Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera has filed a fundamental rights petition requesting the Apex Court to issue a verdict that the fundamental human rights of the people have been violated by offering the tender for the purchase of coal for the Lakvijaya Power Plant to the Black Sand Commodities Company located in the State of Dubai.

However, Minister Wijesekara has asked the Cabinet to allow the Attorney General to assist with the case and if that is not possible, to give Cabinet permission to call a Spot Tender for coal shipments.

With coal supply uncertain, operations at the Kelanitissa and Lakvijaya Power Plants risk coming to a halt by November 2022, according to the Ministry of Power and Energy.

“Contingency plans for procuring coal requirements for the following season were also discussed,” he explained.

A coal shipment, according to a Ministry Spokesman, should arrive this month; otherwise, Sri Lankans will face longer hourly power cuts in November because the Kelanitissa and Lakvijaya Power Plants will be unable to operate.

He noted that the coal shipment should arrive as soon as possible in order to keep power outages to a minimum.

BY Thameenah Razeek