Sri Lanka CEB needs overhaul, says chairman

Mar 04, 2008 (LBO) — Sri Lanka’s state-run power utility needs a management overhaul with input from finance, legal and information technology disciplines and tariff reforms to shift demand, its chairman has said in a detailed report. If tariffs could be used to shift demand, the CEB’s overall capital costs would come down and industry would also be able to get lower cost power without hurting the utility’s finances.

Updated Critics have pointed out that Sri Lanka’s state energy utilities, both the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation are mis-used by politicians to give ‘off-budget’ and ‘on-budget’ subsidies to the public in a bid to buy votes.

“In the recent past (since 2001), the CEB has lost its credibility and is operating as a burden to the government’s budget,” chairman Udayasri Kariyawasam said in a report submitted to the highest levels of government.

“It is now purely operating as a service provider but forgotten the fact that it is a commercial enterprise.”

In 2002 the CEB has lost 7,426 million rupees, which was brought down to 3,750 million in 2003. In 2004 it had climbed to 15,707 billion rupees.

In 2005 the ‘loss’ was cut to 6,852 million with an 11,305 mil