The worsening drought situation in the country has led to Cabinet further extending the agreement periods for purchasing power from four private power plants.
Accordingly, the companies; Ace Power Plant Embilipitiya, Ace Power Plant Matara and Heladhanavi Power Plant Puttlam received Cabinet approval to continue to sell power to the government for another six months.
The need to purchase power came about with the Public Utilities Commission warning the government that the government would need 60MW of supplementary power for the next six months to ensure an uninterrupted power supply.
In addition, Cabinet also approved the purchase of generators of about 60 MW through Open International Competitive bidding to be used in the short term generation for about six months.
Deputy Minister of Power and Energy, Ajith P. Perera addressing the weekly Cabinet briefing yesterday said, “This is the worst drought we have had in 10 years and our hydro power generation capacity has come down to 35 percent. It is usually at about 95 percent”.
“Hence, we are facing grave difficulties but we have decided not to have power cuts as yet. We will continue using our other power plants and technology to pull through. We will take a decision in the future if the situation worsens,” he added.
The Deputy Minister appealed to the general public to use power sparingly and to switch to solar or other sources whenever possible. Perera also encouraged those interested in self-generation schemes to sell power to the government which would be purchased at Rs 36.50 per unit, “We hope to generate at least 350MW through such methods,”the Deputy Minister said.