Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers Union has decided to spring into action against the government decision to strike a deal with the New Fortress Energy Company of the United States.

The government entered into an unsolicited proposal with the New Fortress Energy, where the government plans to sell 40% of the shares held by the Treasury to the New Fortress Energy.

The government describes this as foreign direct investment, though the agreement was entered into under the veil of darkness around six minutes past midnight.

Several constituent parties of the government have expressed their displeasure over the deal and were planning to oppose the agreement calling the government most corrupt since independence. Nevertheless, it is a matter to be seen whether the CEB Trade Unions would be carried away by the rhetoric’s of the smaller political parties and go along with them or continue their struggle sans political patronage.

The Ceylon Electricity Board engineers union have decided to launch a picketing campaign on the 3rd of November and regret any inconvenience caused to the public in this connection.

The press release issued by the CEBEU is self-explanatory and appended for the benefit of the readers.

The Ceylon Electricity Board Engineers’ Union (CEBEU) in a Statement said that they have resorted a trade union action in the form of a picketing campaign to urge the government and the board against the implementation of unsolicited New Fortress Energy LNG proposal.

CEBEU further said that natural gas would be the next fossil fuel option for the country to be used as a transition fuel for power generation in Sri Lanka’s roadmap from current high carbon to low carbon regime with more renewable energy absorption towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

The National Energy Policy and Strategies gazetted in 2019 establishes procurement Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to the country should be made through a streamlined competitive bidding scheme ensuring transparency and accountability and Sri Lanka Electricity Act, No. 20 of 2009 establishes purchase electricity and fuel for power generation on the most economically advantageous terms and in the most transparent manner to ensure least cost.

According to the above Act and Policies, it requires considering the impact to the country’s energy security, operation of the first terminal and LNG procurement shall be kept under state control.

When CEB international tenders are ongoing and in the final stages of evaluation, the New Fortress Energy (NFE), a US based company, has entered into a deal with the Finance Ministry with an unsolicited proposal to be the exclusive supplier of LNG to the country for thenext 5 years.

CEBEU requires authorities to give up this NFE unsolicited proposal that brings an enormous loss the country and inflict a huge impact to the country’s energy security with rights to supply of LNG for 1000-1500MW plants being handed over to one company.

CEB Engineers’ Union has resorted to a picketing campaign on Wednesday, 03rd November 2021 in front of the CEB Head Office to urge the government and the board against implementing of NFE proposal.

Other unions also will join this picketing campaign organized by CEBEU.

CEBEU regrets any inconvenience that can cause to the general public during this Union Action launched in the best interest of the Energy sector and the Country. Further, CEBEU will go for more stringent Trade union actions if government decides to ignore the ongoing international competitive CEB tender and go with the unsolicited proposal of New Fortress Energy Company.


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