To obtain the actual truth behind the power cuts call upon the System Control Center (SCC) of the CEB to explain the reason they emptied reservoirs which were full by passing the computer programmes which they should follow for each reservoir.
These programmes are made taking into account the previous average weighted rainfall figures in the catchment area of each reservoir and what the level of the reservoir should be on that particular day to make it full by the end of November. Therefore, only that amount of water is released for generation at the same time keeping to the required level. The balance units required for our country is met by base load thermal. There are two kinds of thermal available in our country. One is very expensive oil and the price of a unit is increasing by leaps and bounds and is expected to reach a maximum by the end of next year, and the other is coal which is on a trial run connected to the grid and may finish its trial soon. The price of coal will increase, but marginally the price of a unit from coal may be at present Rs. 9 a unit. From furnace oil without subsidy it may be about Rs. 20. Another duty of the SCC is to arrange the maintenance for each plant connected to the grid so that they could arrange for another set to take up that load. As such the defects and details of all the furnace oil sets which by a remarkable coincidence became defective at the same time would come to light in their explanation. All these problems are caused by our country not having the cheapest source of base load power which is coal. Even after our President in his wisdom immediately he became President in 2005 kick started the much delayed and soft loan returned Norocholai coal power project, his power Ministers including the present power Minister did not follow him but went for the highest priced electricity from oil. It could very conservatively be estimated that we the people and our country has lost a colossal accumulated loss of about US$ 11 Billion from 2000 to 2011 due to the absence of coal as the base load and economical hydro the peaking power. Please find attached (1) a table very conservatively made in 2007 indicating the accumulated loss and (2) a leaflet issued by the Presidential Secretariat in 2000 giving the benefits of coal power and how widely it is used which the present Minister of Power will not agree to although it was during the time the SLFP was in power. Eng.M.V.R.Perera