It is reported that the Lanka Indian Oil Company (LIOC) has agreed to provide 6,000 metric tonnes of diesel to the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) solely for power generation purposes.
The CEB stated that due to the shortage of diesel, only the Kelanitissa Dual Cycle Power Plant was operational so far, but that too had stopped due to the unavailability of fuel depriving 165 MW of power to the national grid.
Currently, only the Norochcholai power plant is continuously supplying 900 MW of power to the national grid.
It is therefore, reported that with the contribution of the 6,000 metric tonnes of diesel by the LIOC, there is hope that the power cuts could be reduced by several hours. This consignment of 6,000 metric tonnes of diesel is sufficient for around three days of power generation, according to CEB sources.
Meanwhile, a senior official of the Energy Ministry said yesterday (31) that 120,000 metric tonnes of diesel will be distributed islandwide in the first two weeks of April by three fuel tankers under the Indian loan facility. This stock will be mainly for transport purposes.
He further said that in addition to the 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel in the tanker which is scheduled to arrive today (1), two more tankers carrying another 40,000 metric tonnes of diesel each are scheduled to arrive on April 5 and 14. In addition, the unloading of 37,500 metric tonnes of diesel from the tanker due in Colombo will begin as soon as the forex payment is made, the official said.
India recently provided a US$ 500 million Line of Credit for the purchase of fuel through the LIOC. Indian External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar met top officials of LIOC in Colombo to discuss the modalities of this arrangement.