President Ranil Wickremasinghe stresses the need of ensuring energy security
Sri Lanka has reached 100% electricity accessibility and almost 99.9 % electrification. Yet uninterrupted power supply to the whole country is far from reality.
A scheduled power cut has become a daily phenomenon in the country amidst the ongoing foreign reserves crisis.
As Sri Lanka’s foreign reserves have declined to the lowest in its history,the import-dependent energy sector has suffered heavily.
The lack of foreign currency is making it difficult for the Sri Lankan government to clear the consignment of fuel docked at the Colombo Port immediately causing acute shortages of fuel in the country including domestic Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG).
In the absence of the crude, many of the power plants have to be shut causing disruption in the power supply. Lack of fuel in the county has also disrupted transportation and impacted the manufacturing industries and service sector.
Under this set up it is vital to implement a plan of maintaining long term energy security in Sri Lanka considering it as an urgent need , President Ranil Wickremasighe stated ata recent top level meeting.
President also spoke of cooperation for long-term energy security. He said the power grid connection between India and Sri Lanka, offshore wind energy, solar power plant at Sampur and the renewable energy projects on three islands of Jaffna will help strengthen cooperation.
“We have a tremendous scope of potential renewable energy, and India has stepped in first. There will be others. But from Puttalam to Mullativu, if we harness renewable energy and go in for green hydrogen and also provide power to India, you will see the upliftment of the Northern economy, which had not happened earlier,” Wickremesinghe pointed out.
The other area is promoting Indian higher education institutes to come into Sri Lanka, especially in Jaffna.
He said the Trincomalee tank farm development, the development of the upper tank farm, the development of the Trincomalee Port and the investment zones are being pursued.
He revealed that Malaysia’s Surbana Jurong has given Sri Lanka the plan for the layout of the Trincomalee areas. “So this gives big potential.
The potential is such that you will find, as far as North is concerned, on its western side will be renewable energy and its eastern side a port. So that will contribute to the development of the north,” the President stressed.
He also said that Sri Lanka and India are cooperating in developing logistics because “we are one of the main ports for India and Bangladesh.” He referred to India’s Adani Group developing the West Terminal in the Colombo port.
He expressed delight over Lanka IOC agreeing to buy more filling stations from the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation.
Wickremesinghe said all these initiatives will lay the foundation for closer economic cooperation between India and Sri Lanka. “There will be new investments,” said the President, adding that he was proud that Sri Lankans too have gone out to India and cited Damro as one such example.