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Sri Lankan police launch probe in major power outage

Sri Lanka's largest electricity company Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said the restoration work would take hours.

Published: 03rd December 2021 06:37 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2021 06:37 PM   |  A+A-

The state electricity entity said that police have been asked to investigate if sabotage had been the reason for the island's massive power outage.

Image used for representational purpose only.

By PTI

COLOMBO: A major power failure affected most parts of Sri Lanka on Friday, December 3, 2021, prompting the country's police to launch a probe into the cause of such a widespread outage.

The power outage was experienced across the country this morning.

Sri Lanka's largest electricity company Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) said the restoration work would take hours.

Some areas saw services returning within a few hours.

The state electricity entity said that police have been asked to investigate if sabotage had been the reason for the island's massive power outage.

M R Manatunga, General Manager of CEB, said the power disruption was suspected to be an act of sabotage by the CEB engineers' union who have been protesting against an energy deal with a US company.

The government has faced political and trade union resistance over the proposed agreement with US-based New Fortress Energy Inc. on the Yugadanavi Power Plant just outside the capital Colombo.

In late September, the US-based company announced it had struck a deal with the state-run CEB to supply 1.2 million gallons of liquefied natural gas a day through a 310 MW combined cycle power plant and another 700 MW plant to be built in Kerawalapitiya.

According to the deal, the American company will initially provide the equivalent of an estimated 1.2 million gallons of LNG per day to the government.

The petroleum trade unions described it as a sell-out of the power plant with Sri Lanka standing to lose billions of rupees as a result.

The protests were held despite President Gotabaya Rajapaksa‘s special gazette directive last month banning strikes by employees related to utilities and public services.

The essential services order followed threats made by utility trade unions who announced strikes in protest of the deal.
 



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