Jaffna peninsula faces electricity shortage

[TamilNet, Saturday, 07 April 2007, 01:04 GMT]
Electricity supply to the Jaffna peninsula is danger of being curtailed severely following the announcements by the two private operators of electric power plants that they will be decreasing production of electricity due to contractural issues and other logistical difficulties, civil sources in Jaffna said.

The officials of Jaffna branch of Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) estimate that 32 MW of power is required to meet the demands throughout the peninsula.

KOOL AIR and AGRIKO have been supplying a combined production of only 30 MW.

Even during normal times the total production is not sufficient to meet the needs despite claims by Government of Sri Lanka that Jaffna public is being supplied with required amount of electricity throughout 24 hours.

Recently, KOOL AIR operating in Kankesanturai (KKS) since 1996 has recently reduced its supply from 15 Mega Watts to 4 MW stating that its contract is to expire shortly, reducing the total supply to Jaffna to 19 MW.

With Sri Lanka Army (SLA) demanding 24-hour power supply to the military in High Security Zones(HSZ), authorities are planning to drastically curtail supply to Jaffna residents, civil sources said.

Unconfirmed reports say that GOSL is actively negotiating with an international source to supply of power to the North.

Until 1990 Jaffna received electricity from Laxapana power station transported along high-voltage transmission lines. With the onset of war most of the transmission towers to Jaffna were destroyed, and electricity supply to Jaffna depended on diesel-fired power stations in Chunnakam and in KKS operated by private entities.


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