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  • 06 Jul 2016 12:08 PM | IESL (Administrator)






    Engineers warn electricity costs to increase up to 50%, blackouts by 2018


    Sampur coal power projects should proceed without delay, competitive bidding essential for wind and solar, and development of LNG, including the terminal requires careful study.



    The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) is the premier Engineering institution in the country involved in promoting and advancing the Science and practice of Engineering. The Power and Energy committee of IESL recently organized a Seminar on “Generation Options - Sri Lanka for a Reliable and an Economical Power Supply” on at the Wimalasurendra Auditorium of the Institution. A large number of eminent engineers who are well experienced in planning and operation of power systems made several presentations at this well attended seminar.


    It was highlighted that immediate action is necessary to expedite the implementation of the Coal Power project in Sampur. The country is in danger of going back to the era of power cuts coupled with higher prices of electricity. The growth in electricity sales has recovered from the low 1% in 2013 to reach 7% in 2015; growth indications for 2016 are even higher. In this backdrop, it is concerned that currently there are no major power plants being built, to meet the growing demand. It was revealed that the 500 MW Sampur coal power plant, which is vital to meet the growing demand has been suspended. This project should have been completed in 2016, but has already been delayed for various reasons and then targeted for completion in 2020.


    The summary decision by the Government to change its fuel to LNG, can cause inevitable delays. This change would result in the carrying out of fresh feasibility studies, preparation of  bankable project documents, obtaining necessary approval and re-negotiating agreements. Change of fuel to LNG would cause electricity production costs to increase by 40-50%. This is the reality. The delay of the Sampur coal power plant is already dragging the country to a power crisis, possible blackouts and heavy costs of electricity to follow. This would result in the loss of confidence among investors leading to economic paralysis of the country.


    It was also observed that the competitive bidding round for two wind power plants, scheduled to close in April 2016, has been repeatedly extended and now effectively suspended owing to the Government intervention, with no plausible reason given. With the investor confidence shattered, that move undermines the competitive processes to purchase electricity, established by the Electricity Act. Sri Lanka reportedly pays a very high price for electricity produced from wind power plants developed by the private sector. For solar power too, Sri Lanka pays a very high price of Rs.23.00 per unit. Recent reductions in prices of both wind and solar equipment internationally, availability of sites with better wind regimes, and the favourable terms of investment, would enable wind and solar power to be produced up to 50% below the prices paid at present. Price discovery can only be achieved through competitive bidding.


    Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) prices have recently declined, owing to surplus in production and the depressed oil prices, to which most LNG contracts are linked. Recent contracts to supply LNG have been reported to be as low as 8.5 USD/million BTU. This is considered to be a temporary phenomenon. The Power sector Engineers call upon the Government to carefully scrutinize historic prices and pricing formulae, and forecast quantities required, through expert studies, before rushing into conclusions to build large LNG terminals. Such terminals require significant investments exceeding USD 500 million. In any case, they should be located where prospective customers for gas are already present. Such large investments cannot be made in haste, and will require 5-8 years to study, design, secure approvals, finance and build. In any case, it would not relieve Sri Lanka from the grave power crisis expected by 2018.


    The process of making decisions on power plants, and the responsibility to build such capacity on time, legally remains with the CEB, the Transmission Licensee under the Act, subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL). PUCSL is responsible to ensure that the Transmission Licensee adheres to least cost principles and competitive bidding requirements stipulated in the Electricity Act.


    The Engineers calls upon the Government to follow the procedures laid down in the Electricity Act and   reiterate the need to commence the construction of the Sampur coal power plant without further delay. Procurement of power from private wind and solar developers should be carried out strictly on a competitive basis. It is predicted that the cost of electricity production would otherwise increase by about 50%. With Sri Lanka’s electricity prices being already high compared with other countries in the region, any further price increases resulting from higher production costs, will have a crippling effect on the economy and the people.


    The above facts were revealed from the presentations of expert Engineers who are well experienced in planning and operation of power systems. These presentations and the seminar proceedings can be downloaded from here.

  • 05 Jul 2016 3:36 PM | IESL (Administrator)

    The IESL Eastern Chapter conducted a five days CPD course on Project Management Professional – PMP in Trincomalee at P/Buildings Department, Conference hall on 04th, 05th, 11th, 12th & 19th of June, 2016 with the participation of Thirty (30) participants from different disciplines. The day of the inauguration on 04th June 2016, the CPD Committee Chairman, Dr. Kamal Laksiri, Eng. Madhawa Herath CPD Committee member and other officials from PMI Colombo Sri Lanka Chapter President Mr. Ganesh Wijenayaka and Executive Vice President Mr. Shanaka de Silva were present. Eng.S.Rajagopalasingam, Provincial Deputy Director of Irrigation was invited for this event as a Guest of Honour.

    Following the welcome addressed by Eng. L. Subhaharan, Co- chairman IESL Eastern Chapter, CPD Committee Chairman delivered a speech to the participants. He mentioned that, this is the first time IESL conduct such a long term programme out of Colombo and he appreciated the committee members of the IESL Eastern Province Chapter for the efforts taken to conduct the programme. Also, he mentioned, the efforts taken by the Eng. Jayavilal Meegoda, IESL President (Elect) and Eng. Madhawa Herath who took the initiation to conduct this programme in Trincomalee. Further, he welcomed to organize similar programmes for the enhancement of the knowledge and skills of young engineers to meet the requirements in the competitive world. Thereafter the Guest of Honour, Eng.S .Rajagopalasingam delivered the key note address.

    Then the technical sessions were commenced and on 04th and 05th Mr. Shanaka De Silva conducted the sessions and on 11th and 12th Eng. Madhawa Herath conducted. Again the final session was conducted by Mr. Shanaka De Silva on 19th of June 2016. It has been a really good opportunity for all engineers who were participated for this Programme. Also it opened the eyes of the engineers to think about their career development and openings in the markets.

  • 30 Jun 2016 12:40 PM | IESL (Administrator)

    Candidates who successfully completed the following Continues Professional Development Courses conducted  recently by the IESL received their certificates at a certificate awarding ceremony held at the Wimalasurendra Auditorium of the IESL on Wednesday, 29thJune, 2016. 

    • Designing of Fire Detection and Protection Systems
    • Project Management
    • Financial Management for Engineers
    • English for Professionals
    • Microsoft Project Workshop
    • Procurement Management

    President Elect of IESL - Eng. Jayavilal Meegoda, Vice President and Chairman of the Continues Professional Development Committee - Eng. (Dr.) Kamal Laksiri and Vice President of IESL – Eng. (Prof.) Mrs. Niranjanie Ratnayake distributed the certificates to about 100 of the successful candidates who participated in the ceremony. This was followed by Fellowship and Dinner.

  • 28 Jun 2016 2:20 PM | IESL (Administrator)

    IESL Ray Wijewardene Memorial Lecture 2016 – Emphasis on sustainable innovation ecosystem.

    “Road Mapping the Future: State of Innovation Ecosystems” was the title of this year’s IESL Ray Wijewardene memorial lecture conducted at the Wimalasurendra Auditorium of the IESL on Friday, 24th June, 2016. Delivered by G.Nagesh Rao, 2016 USA Eisenhover Fellow, Engineer and Chief Technologist of the US Small Business Administration’s Office of Investment & Innovation the lecture dealt with how does the nexus of science, technology,, business, law, art and people cultivate a thriving and sustainable innovation ecosystem.

    Organized jointly by the IESL and the Ray Wijewardene Charitable Trust the public lecture was attended by a large audience comprised of IESL members, special invitees, members of diplomatic missions, and family members, relatives and friends of the Late Ray Wijewardene.

    President of IESL, Eng. Wimalasena Gamage, delivered the welcome address while Mr.Nihal Jayamanne, PC, who is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Trust introduced the speaker. Eng. Gamini Ranasinghe, member of the Agricultural Engineering Sectional Committee of the IESL proposed the Vote of Thanks. 

  • 23 Jun 2016 2:37 PM | IESL (Administrator)

    The ceremonial launch of the Techno Sri Lanka 2016 was held at the Hotel Galadari on Wednesday, 22nd June, 2016 from 6.00 pm onwards in the presence of a large audience comprised of sponsors, special invitees, guests, well-wishers, past presidents, Council members, members of the organizing committee and IESL staff.

    Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Region Development graced the occasion as the chief guest. This annual national engineering and technology exhibition, is to be held for its  31st  consecutive year on 07th,08th and  09th October 2016 at the BMICH. The best of its kind to be held in Sri Lanka, this flagship event of the IESL  brings forth the latest in technologies, products, skills and best practices from the world over to its target audience and  is a beacon for the transfer of technology towards scientific and technological excellence of the profession and related industry in the country.

    The lighting of the traditional Oil Lamp and national anthem was followed by President of IESL, Eng. Wimalasena Gamage’s welcome address.

    President Elect of IESL and Chairman of the Techno Sri Lanka 2016 Organizing Committee, Eng.Jayavilal Meegoda in his introduction speech explained the idea behind selecting “ Engineering Excellence for a Smarter Planet” as the theme for this year’s exhibition and its aim to promote smart and sustainable development of the country while inculcating the culture of innovation among school children and encouraging entrepreneurial  startups especially among young engineers

    Addressing the audience in what was tagged as the ‘Techno Talk’  Hon. Minister Ranawaka praised the selection of the theme; “ Engineering Excellence for a Smarter Planet” for this years’ exhibition by IESL for its reflection of the trend and times in the country’s development process and the opportunity for innovative thinking and vital role for engineers  in it. He detailed the smart city concept within   the Megapolis Development Plan and the strategies being adopted to achieve various objectives and goals of the project.

    The Question and Answer session that followed the speeches saw the Hon. Minister explaining the opportunities arising for the country’s engineers in the various infrastructure projects within the Megapolis Development  Plan and Western Region Development  Plan of his ministry.  President Elect of IESL providing answers to what’s to be expected from the exhibition explained the focus this year on helping engineering entrepreneurial startups through the various steps to establish themselves as successful enterprises..

    The event was also the occasion to handover tokens of sponsorships for sponsors

    The Vote of Thanks was proposed by Vice President of IESL, Eng. (Prof.) Mrs. Niranjanie Ratnayake and this was followed by Cocktails with which the event concluded.

    Video recordings of the event could be accessed through the links below

  • 23 Jun 2016 1:10 PM | IESL (Administrator)

    The Institution of Engineers Sri Lanka, NSW Chapter (IESL NSW Chapter), Engineers’ nite 2016 was held on 11th of June 2016 at Hornsby RSL. This was held in grand style for the seventh consecutive time including the awards presentations for IESL NSW Chapter Engineering Excellence award 2016. President of the institution of Engineers Sri Lanka, Eng. Wimalasena Gamage, President of Engineers Australia, Sydney Division Dr. Michael Myers, President elect of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations Dr. Marlene Kanga and IESL NSW Chapter president Eng. Ananda Herath graced the event.   

    The Engineering Conference, held on 10th June 2016 at the Engineers Australia Auditorium, Chatswood, preceded the Engineers nite 2016. The Engineering Excellence awards are to recognise engineers with Sri Lankan background living in New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory, for their contributions towards ecologically sustainable development and wellbeing of the community. These awards are offered in three categories: the best infrastructure development project; the best research paper and the best innovation/invention.

    Every year, from many quality submissions two outstanding submissions are presented from each category at the Engineering conference. Following five submissions were short listed and presented at the conference this year and awards were presented at the Gala Dinner.

    • “Methodology for Assessing Bridges on Road Network for Freight Vehicles” by Adj. Prof.Wije Ariyaratne
    • “Equivalent-Circuit Models for Efficient Transmission and Dispersion
      Analyses of Multi-State Periodic Structures” by Professor Karu Esselle and Dr Dush Thalakotuna
    • “Significant improvement in both low- and high-field performance of MgB2 superconductors through graphene oxide doping” by Dr. Sujeewa De Silva
    • “Shock Mats made of recycled tyre waste to enhance the stability of ballasted rail track” by Eng. Sinniah K. Navaratnarajah
    • “Optimization of Stochastic deterioration models for bridges under incomplete inspection data using Bayesian inference-based approaches” by Dr.Niroshan K. Walgama

    This annual event was attended by over 250 Engineers, Industry experts, academia and many distinguished invitees representing various collaborative organisations. Gala Dinner 2016 was sponsored by three bronze sponsors, NSW Public Works; University of Technology and Road & Maritime Services. This event is a great opportunity for networking among fellow engineers and strengthening mutually beneficial relationship’s with professionals and professional organisations.

    Amali Wickramasinghe, Secretary IESL NSW Chapter

  • 02 Jun 2016 3:30 PM | IESL (Administrator)

    Eng Bandu Biyanwila  donated Books and Magazines which were a part of his private collection to the IESL Library at a simple ceremony held on Wednesday, 1st June, 2016 at the library premises.

    The donations were officially handed over by Eng. Biyanwila to Eng. (Dr.) Jagath Peiris, the CEO of the IESL.

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