Sri Lankan official said poor quality oil imports responsible for power plant shutdown


A senior Sri Lankan official has blamed poor quality crude oil imports for the shutdown of a power plant. Due to this, there is a power failure for a long time in the midst of the economic crisis in the country.

The head of the Public Utilities Commission, Janak Ratnayake, told the BBC on Monday that the oil burned in the furnaces contained a lot of sulfur. High sulfur content in furnace oil is not suitable for power plants and also does not conform to environmental standards.

“If you buy good quality crude oil for the refineries, it won’t be a problem,” Ratnayake told the BBC.

“About 10 per cent of Sri Lanka’s electricity comes from diesel and fuel oil power plants, while the rest is generated from hydro, renewable and coal-fired plants,” the senior official said.

Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekara said the island country’s state-run fuel retailer, Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC), would legally respond to Ratnayake’s allegation.

Ratnayake’s allegation came after Sri Lanka last week increased its daily power outage from 80 minutes to 140 minutes due to a drop in power generation capacity.

The island nation is facing its worst financial crisis since gaining independence from Britain in 1948 and is struggling to find enough dollars to import fuel and food, the BBC reports.

The shortage led to months of Anti-government protests and long queues outside petrol stations.

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