All Sri Lankan houses will be light up with electricity by 2012, assurance by Power and Energy Minis
The sixth Key Persons’ Forum for 2010 was concluded on August 17, 2010 at the Galle Face Hotel, Colombo with Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka gracing the occasion as the Guest Speaker amidst the presence of other distinguished invitees and large number of eminent personalities representing the corporate and service sectors. The forum organized by the Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) together with Small and Medium Enterprise Developers (SMED) provides a dialogue platform to discuss key contemporary issues on business, economy and society and share novel ideas and views with key policy makers.
Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Power and Energy in his address under the theme of “Enhancing the Quality of Energy Services for Enterprises – Way Forward” stated that an estimated 85% of the population has access to grid connected electricity and the Government envisages providing electricity to all by 2010 through a dual approach of grid extension and off-grid extension. He further added that the strategy takes into account the marginalized communities and proposes they too should be provided with electricity.
Minister said that 08 per cent of Sri Lankans will be provided with electricity through off-grid technologies. Explaining his strategy to achieve the objective, he said that there are a number of new grid substations under construction at present. Hon. Minister describing the theme Power Lanka by the Ministry of Power and Energy, said that there are several programmes designed and initiatives taken to achieve the objective “Electricity for All by 2012” which will ensure electricity for all rural households and already started constructing 4593 new rural electrification schemes with a view to finish during the next 02 years with an estimated cost of 40 billion rupees.
Adding further to his speech, the Minister mentioned that the government has always strived to shield the industrial sector by keeping the industrial tariff at reasonable levels in comparison to other tariff categories as the cost of power generation has increased due to high cost of oil used for generation of 65% of our electricity. Minister also said that Call Centers have been established to ensure rapid response to power breakdowns in order to maintain the quality of supply. Providing the assurance in the reliability of supply of power, new system control centre with all state-of the-art technology will be constructed in Sri Jayawardenepura to operate the power system in an optimum and reliable manner. In addition to the Electricity for all programme under the Power Lanka theme, he explained about many other programmes carried out under the theme in order to ensure a quality, reliable, efficient and timely service through his Ministry to all Sri Lankans. Describing the long term generation plan, Hon. Minister stated that all renewable energy sources of the country such as solar, wind, bio-mass, geo-thermal, OTEC will be explored and utilized, and expressed that the encouragement is given to private sector to establish renewable energy plants.
He added that Sri Lankan engineers and experts are well capable of providing required expertise in power sector and a fully government owned private company will be established to undertake power sector projects. Ministry in its initiatives to expand and popularize the energy efficient bulbs, a programme will be launched to make them available at concessionary prices. In the attempt of reducing the transmission and distribution losses, there is an initiative which will benefit two deserving parties; farmers are able to derive an additional income through development of decentralized Dendro power plants and CEB can save money through purchase low cost energy from farmers.
Kosala Wickramanayake President FCCISL made the welcome speech. Vidya Amarapala, Chairman Ceylon Electricity Board, Sagarika Delgoda, Representative FNST and Ranel T Wijesinha were also amidst the distinguished panel making the forum a very successful and timely one with their valuable inputs to the topic.
FCCISL in News: Daily News paper article