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Sri Lanka left with 3 days of diesel for power generation

18 Feb, 2022
A new diesel shipment is expected to arrive on Feb 20, K.D.R Olga, Secretary at Sri Lanka’s Energy Ministry, told Reuters. Reuters
A new diesel shipment is expected to arrive on Feb 20, K.D.R Olga, Secretary at Sri Lanka’s Energy Ministry, told Reuters. Reuters

Sri Lanka has only three days worth of diesel fuel for power generation, an energy ministry official said on Friday, as the country's electricity regulator announced power cuts.

Hit hard by the pandemic that has shut off major sources of foreign exchange, Sri Lanka has seen its reserves drop to $2.36 billion by January. Last year Sri Lanka spent $1.2 billion on fuel imports, according to latest central bank data.

A new diesel shipment is expected to arrive on Feb 20, K.D.R Olga, Secretary at Sri Lanka’s Energy Ministry, told Reuters.

“We are working to source fuel to meet requirements from now until the first week of April,” she said.

Fuel supplies through a $500 million credit extended by India would likely come through only in early April, Olga said.

Sri Lanka also needs to settle around $250 million worth of import bills for fuel from Singapore and the UAE, she added.

With 600 MW of electricity generation facilities out of fuel, Sri Lanka’s power regulator said there would over one hour of cuts across the country on Friday.

"Currently four power plants are without diesel, so we cannot cater to peak demand,” said Janaka Ratnayake, Chairman of the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka.

“This is a very unavoidable, unpleasant situation we are faced with but we have no choice.”