Sri Lanka hotels, industry to face higher power tariffs

Dec 16, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s industries and hotels will face sharply higher power costs of around 25 to 100 percent under new tariffs proposed for 2011, industry representatives told a public hearing called by the regulator. Sri Lanka’s industry has been getting subsidized power, though most of the subsidies went to domestic users below 90 units a month.

Sri Lanka’s manufacturing industries in ceramics, rubber and others will have to bear extra power expenses between 20-40 percent next year industry representatives said.

Sri Lanka top cement maker, Holicim, a unit of a Swiss based group said its annual power cost will go up by 370 million rupees.

Its Puttalam plant, which now pays about a billion rupees is believed to be the single largest customer of the CEB, the hearing called by the Public Utility Commission was told. The new tariffs will add 14 rupees per bag of cement produced, an official said.

Large industries were getting power at 9.10 rupees with a mechanism to charge for peak hours. Under the new rates industry will have three charge bands of 16.50 rupee for ‘peak,’ 8.70 for off-peak, and 11.50 for day.

Off-peak charging is to encourage industries to run night shifts in the early hours of