Better Deal

Dec 05 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s small hydro developers are in talks with the government for a new electricity tariff, to be finalised in about a month, as mini-hydro electricity becomes more expensive to develop.

There are currently about 100 megawatts of small hydro plants generating 300 million units of electricity a year, connected to Sri Lanka’s national electricity grid.

Developers say that costs of future development however will go up, as prices of inputs like cement, steel and equipment soars and new sites become more expensive to develop.

“Most of the good sites have been developed already and the remaining sites are a little bit more expensive. They cannot be developed at the prices we developed the last 100 megawatts,” Nishantha Nanayakkara, President of the Grid Connected Small Power Developers Association said Tuesday.

Prices of cement and steel have also doubled since 2003, Nanyakkara says, while copper, used in generators has also gone up in price.

“The total cost of generating a unit of electricity from a mini-hydro plant at the moment is about six rupees a unit, but this will definitely go up with future projects.
Previous projects of one megawatt cost about 10