Going Thermal

With 100 MW of electricity capacity kicking in on Wednesday and 55 MW on the way, Sri Lanka’s power situation looks better next quarter than it did six months ago. With 100 MW of electricity capacity kicking in on Wednesday and 55 MW on the way, Sri Lanka’s power situation looks better next quarter than it did six months ago.

The 100 MW thermal plant – a joint venture between Hemas and locally owned independent power producer Lakhdhanavi, was commissioned in Puttalam yesterday.

A further 55 MW from the AES plant at Kelanitissa that was damaged in a fire a few months ago, will come on board in October, upping generation capacity for the second half of the year.

A drought that by the way is also killing agriculture harvests, has meant a heavy dependence on expensive thermal power, just when fuel prices are sky rocketing.

“Higher thermal power is extremely expensive to generate and this year we have used 160 MW of hired power up to the end of September,” Director Statistics at the Central Bank, Dr. Anila Dias Bandaranaike said Thursday.

High diesel prices have upped generation costs to about Rs. 9.00 to Rs. 9.50 a unit, though households get the