April 25th2012, Colombo: The inaugural electrical engineers forum of the Institute of Engineers Sri Lanka (IESL) was convened today to discuss Electricity Pricing and Economic Regulation. The IESL, Sri Lanka's premier engineering body, plans to make it an annual event with a mission to uplift the Engineering fraternity of the country. It was powered by United Tractors & Equipment Pvt Ltd (UTE) the pioneer in diesel power generator industry in Sri Lanka.
The Forum on the topic of 'Electricity Pricing and Economic Regulation' commenced with a presentation followed by a panel discussion. The presenter, Engineer Dr. Tilak Siyambalapitiya, stressed the relevance of this topic, especially in the light of recent electricity price hikes. Addressing the distinguished engineers, business executives and journalists he stated, “The Electricity Act of 2009 provides us the framework for the functional unbundling and regulation of the electricity supply industry. Our ultimate goal is economic efficiency of the sector, and the provision of reliable, adequate and cost-effective service to customers. January 2011 was seen as a new beginning in the sector but this needs to be fully understood by all the stakeholders if we are going to able to implement effectual change.”
Dr. Siyambalapitiya added that, “shedding stagnant traditional ideas in the face of the new regulatory environment is a difficult task and there are problems and misunderstandings among almost all the stakeholders on how this system works, and how customers and the society at large would benefit from it. But we need to give economic regulation a chance to prove itself”. The presentation focused on what has to be done by each key stakeholder to rescue the ailing electricity industry.
The presentation set the tone for the subsequent panel discussion; the panelists were Eng. Jayasiri Karunanayaka - Senior Consultant Engineer, Eng. Damitha Kumarasinghe – Director General PUCSL and Eng. Bandula Thilakasena - Additional General Manager CEB, with Prof. K. K. Y. W. Perera – Advisor to the Ministry of Power and Energy moderating.
Commenting on the sponsorship UTE CEO, Mr. Riyad Ismail, said "understanding the new regulatory framework and economic dynamics are vital for all those stakeholders in the engineering sector when deciding on the best affordable sources of energy, be it short term cost savings or to achieve a competitive advantage in the long run. That is why we are proud to have supported IESL's Electrical Engineering Forum 2012; and we would also like to commend them for the initiative they are showing to spark discourse”.