CEBEU threatens island-wide strike over government’s decision to change electricity law – Reuters

  • Says it aims to facilitate Adani’s unsolicited 500MW wind power project proposal

The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union (CEBEU) has decided to call an island-wide strike against the government’s decision to amend the Electricity Act, which would pave the way for the Adani Group’s proposal for the 500 MW wind power project in Mannar and Poonarin. following the regular procedure.

The CEBEU claimed that the proposed amendment to the Electricity Law, which is expected to be adopted on the 9th of this month, would end competitive bidding for energy projects in the country, paving the way for corruption , while depriving local investors.

“The main focus behind this is Adani’s proposal for a 500 MW wind power project at Mannar and Poonarin in Sri Lanka,” a CEBEU official told Mirror Business.

As a result, CEBEU plans to call an island-wide strike effective midnight today.
CEB Chairman, MMC Ferdinando, at a press conference on Monday, urged the government to follow due process in granting approval to the Adani Group’s proposal for the 500 MW wind power project.

According to him, Adani Group has already completed the feasibility studies for the project and has been submitted to CEB engineers for evaluation. However, CEBEU denies any submission of a feasibility study to the CEB by Adani Group.

Furthermore, CEBEU pointed out that it is impossible to complete a feasibility study in such a short time, even for a multi-billion dollar resource-rich organization such as the Adani Group, given the sensitive nature of the environment. environment of the project location which is a key habitat for migratory birds. CEBEU noted that it would take at least a year and a half to complete the feasibility study. According to Ferdinando, Adani Green Energy Ltd, a unit of the Adani Group had signed a memorandum of understanding

(MOU) for renewable energy generation projects in Sri Lanka with state entities including CEB, Sustainable Energy Authority, Treasury and Board of Investments (BOI) in November last year .

In addition, CEBEU has also expressed concern over moves to grant tariff rates to the Adani Group in US dollars, given the current currency crisis in the country. Furthermore, he claimed that the government was preparing to allow a tariff rate to Adani twice that granted to the Asian Development Bank (ADB)-funded Thambapavani wind project.

If the government follows due process, Ferdinando said it is up to CEB engineers to determine the tariff rate, which must then be approved by the PUCSL. However, he noted that the BOI and the Treasury may decide to provide the tariff to Adani in US dollars, as this is not the responsibility of both PUCSL and CEB.

Lynn A. Saleh