Central Bank to release USD 30 million to buy fuel for CEB


The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) would release USD 30 million to purchase fuel from five ships anchored in Sri Lankan waters, Minister of Power, Gamini Lokuge said yesterday, January 18.

Minister Lokuge said that they were doing their utmost to ensure a continuous supply of fuel to keep the thermal power plants running to meet the energy demand.

The Kelanitissa Power Plant Complex officials on Tuesday evening said that they could manage the peak hour power supply. However, they said they were yet to receive fuel stocks since last Saturday.

“Every day we need 1.6 million litres of fuel to run the 165MW, 115MW and the 18MW plants,” another senior official said.

Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEB) Engineers Union Secretary, Dhammika Wimalaratne said that one-and-a-half-hour power cuts were on the cards, as Diesel stocks at the Kelanitissa power station would run out by yesterday evening (5.00 pm), and unless fuel stocks were replenished at the earliest, the grid would be minus the 300MW.

He said that even if fresh fuel stocks were provided, it would take between seven to eight hours to add them to the system after purifying fuel.

He warned that the 160MW Sapugaskanda power plant and 60 MW Colombo Barge mounted plant at the Colombo harbour had heavy fuel only till January 22.

He said that load shedding would be effected between 4.00 and 10.00 p.m.

He also expressed concern about the projected hydro power level, which was at only 790 GWh, sufficient for little more than two months.

Of the 38 coal shipments, only 22 had arrived and 16 were yet to come, due to delays in issuing Letters of Credit.