ECONOMYNEXT – Engineers at state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has said they will go ahead with a work-to-rule campaign which may lead to extended power cuts, saying no steps were taken to approve a low cost power plan by the regulator despite a request by the President.
A work-to-rule may result in extended power cuts as engineers will go home at 4.30 pm and will not be on-call on off-days, union officials said.
They will also not take calculated technical risks to re-energize failures and will work strictly according to the book.
Both the CEB and the engineers union have protested earlier alleging that the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka had manipulated costs of the Long Term Generation Plan to show that coal was cheaper than liquefied natural gas and eliminated coal from the plan exceeding its powers.
At a meeting with the President, the Union had also demanded that the regulator step down. The President’s office said he had instructed the regulator to discuss with the CEB and resolve differences.
“Even though it was stated that approval for the CEB’s generation plan would be granted and suitable officials with highest professional integrity would be appointed to the top posts of the PUCSL, the government has so far failed to execute the same,” the Union said this week.
The CEBEU said its executive committee met on May 03 and decided to go ahead with the work-to-rule campaign.
They are demanding that the CEB’s 2018-2037 generation plan be approved, and also that the director general be replaced.
At the meeting with the President a representative from the regulator had also claimed Sri Lanka had a no-coal policy, citing a document by a cabinet committee on economic affairs which quoted a statement from the President, sources familiar with the matter said.
The President had denied the claim saying he only objected to a coal plant in Trincomalee.
Sri Lanka now has a Chinese coal plant which has pollution problems that could have been avoided because environmentalists objected to a cleaner Japanese funded plant earlier.