SL energy crisis needs streamlined long term policy framework from CEB: Snr Engineers Ass

power

  • Senior Engineers of CEB has launched a new movement to uphold policy consistency
  • Plans to focus Energy Crisis in Sri Lanka through expediting the construction of new power plants
  • Plans for career upliftment of junior engineers and recommending to increase retirement age to 61 to increase the contribution of senior engineers to achieve energy goals

Consistent streamlined long term policy framework is needed by Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to provide electricity supply to its customers with an affordable price, the newly launched Senior Engineers Association of CEB says.

“We believe that Ceylon Electricity Board should modernized and adopt changes in the energy market to resolve upcoming energy crisis which is our responsibility though we have capacity to face such crisis.” The newly launched Ceylon Electricity Board Senior Engineers Association consisting of senior engineers of CEB says.

Sri Lanka’s current energy policy focuses more on adding renewable energy to the national grid. Therefore, establishment of consistent, efficient framework withinCEB is more crucial at this point of time while focusing to obtain maximum support of the knowledgeable and skillful engineers of CEB to implement the national policy. 

Use of modern technology

CEB should carry forward with short term, mid term and long term reforms to address efficiency of operational framework of CEB  and to improve financial position of CEB. Use of modern technology is inevitable to move forward to face Energy Crisis and adopt national policy frame work”,  Senior Engineers Association consisting of senior engineers of CEB says.

Dr. H. M. Wijekoon Banda, President of Senior Electrical Engineers Union of CEB, said that a proposal will be made shortly to modernize CEB, to expedite the construction of low cost power plants, to avoid high cost emergency power purchases and to keep electricity tariffs stable for the next five years.

“A major obstacle in  implementation of  CEB’s plans is limited time available for experienced senior electrical engineers who hold senior positions to continue in the same  positions. This becomes a huge hurdle in continuity of such plans and such plans become inactive in long run . CEB lose the services of senior electrical engineers with experience in specialized field when they reach 60 years of age. Although the retirement age for specialists in medical field is 65 years, veteran engineers are required to retire at the age of 60. Due to this compulsory retirement, senior electrical engineers will have limited time to work in the posts such as General Manager, Additional General Managers and Deputy General Managers which falls in top management categories of  CEB. This situation adversely affects the accountability and performance of such positions. In order to continue implementing the long-term generation, transmission and distribution of CEB and service to the customers, a decision must be made quickly to obtain the services of Senior Electrical Engineers for a sufficient period of time. It should be noted that Ceylon Electricity Board Act too have such provisions for these changes.” Dr. Wijekoon Banda, President of Senior Electrical Engineers of CEB added.

CEB is having a strength of more then 800 Engineers.  The Senior Engineers Association of CEB also indicated  that increase of retirement age to 61 as an interim solution is prudent at this time as Senior Engineers possess required skills and knowledge to accommodate the national policy and convert it as a reality.

The CEB Senior Engineers points out that the above recommendation of extending retirement age upto 61  could be reviewed after one year of implementation to arrive a permanent solution which could  be adopted.

Also Senior Engineers says, this will minimize the knowledge gap of young engineers as the time will give them the chance to groom young engineers to face upcoming energy challenges. In line with this, Senior Engineers Association recommends that  modernizing of organizational structure should be adopted to promote young engineers on experience and seniority.

Senior Electrical Engineers also emphasize that the purchase of emergency power to overcome the power shortage should no longer be a solution. The Association is confident that above proposals will have a positive impact on maximizing the contribution of senior and young engineers to achieve the target of generating 70 percent of renewable energy by 2030 in line with government policy.

The detailed proposal recommended by the Senior Electrical Engineers Union to solve the power crisis is due to be released in end November.