CEB non-settlement of dues to Renewable Energy sector puts 7000 jobs at risk

Protest by the workers of the Renewable Energy sector was held in front of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) head office in Colombo yesterday (24/5/22). The Renewable Energy sector workers claim that the CEB has withheld monies due, to the tune of Rs. 23 Billion even though their workers have not suffered any cutbacks. Due to this 7000 workers and their families are on the verge of losing their jobs and homes, SE spokesman said.

Speaking to the media All Island Minihydro Power Generators spokesman, Ruwan Pranga said, the protest made by the workers of the renewable energy sector opposite the CEB is to stress the seriousness of their situation, that 7000 worker families are on the brink of being made destitute due to the non-settlement of housing and other loans. As banks are demanding the instalments on their housing loans which cannot be met, now the auctioning of their homes is a very real threat.

Even though their salaries and allowances have been reduced due to this situation we have kept the plants running and producing power as it is of national importance to the country. If this sector which produces 12 per cent of the power was to close down the government will have to fill this gap by importing Diesel to generate this power to fill the gap at the cost of Rs. 72.26 whereas we supply a unit of power at Rs 16.26 he said. If the situation is not put right soon we will have no other choice but to resort to legal action he said.

Speaking further to the media Prasanga said, that since 2015 there has been no increase in the RE sector’s supply of power to the grid been allowed. It seems that there is a hand trying to sabotage this industry. Even though the power is supplied at a much lesser cost than the that generated with Diesel oil there is no encouragement from the CEB to purchase from the RE sector. The money the RE sector is demanding is the money due for power already supplied and that the CEB has collected money from the public. With the salaries of these workers not being met on time, it has caused demoralization among them. This makes it extremely difficult to run proper maintenance of these RE facilities. At this rate, there is a real threat of these facilities closing down to being unable to provide the power presently given to the national grid. The present contribution of 1200 MW is 12 per cent if lost, will create further and severe power outages in the country.


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