Heaven Sent

June 16, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s power utility has increased its hydro storage after heavy rains in the last three days, and if the trend continues it may be able to avoid power cuts in the immediate future, LBO learns. The Ceylon Electricity Board warned that power cuts were imminent after monsoon rains were delayed and hydro storage fell to the equivalent of 450 million units (GigaWatt hours) of electricity.

At any given time the utility has the capacity to store enough water to generate 1,200 million units (GigaWatt hours) of energy. Power cuts have earlier been imposed when storage fell below 400 GWh.

During the last three days, heavy rains to the western slopes of Sri Lanka’s central hill region where a number of hydro plants are located had increased storage by about 30 million units, officials said.

Already small reservoirs in the Laxapana hydro generation complex in the upper reaches of the Kelani River as well as the newly built Kukule is operating 24 hours a day and are spilling.

However officials warn that unless hydro storage increases to at least 1,000 GWh by the end of the year, power cuts would be inevitable in the first quarter of next year.

The Ceylon Electricity Board’s engi