CEB denies claims over islandwide power outage

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) on Wednesday denied a widely reported statement by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, which said that the had accepted fault over the islandwide power outage earlier in December. On Wednesday the country’s electricity regulator said that the CEB had accepted fault in failing to restore power for over five hours, during a major power outage on December 9, 2023.

Citing the CEB, the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said that the CEB’s failure to restore power was a ‘problematic situation’. A breakdown in the transmission line from Kotmale to Biyagama was initially attributed as the cause of the major outage. In response to widespread criticism over the breakdown, the CEB had said that it needs to maintain an additional power generator to ensure power supply in such emergencies, but was unable to do so, due to a lack of funds.

On Wednesday, the CEB denied fresh allegations by the PUCSL, maintaining that investigations into the outage are still underway. “Statements can be made in this regard following the conclusion of the investigations,” CEB’s media spokesman Eng. Noel Priyantha said.

Two committees are currently investigating the incident, an internal committee chaired by the Additional General Manager of the CEB, and an external committee appointed by the Power and Energy Ministry.