Sri Lanka inflows to hydro power plants lowest in 20-years

Oct 05, 2012 (LBO) – Water inflows to Sri Lanka’s hydro power plants up to September 2012 was the lowest in 20-years and much lower than a year earlier which was also a drought year, the island’s power ministry said.

“We are not cutting power like in India,” the minister was quoted as saying. “That is why we are asking to use power carefully.”

This year Sri Lanka cut power for the first time in 10 years, after a newly built Chinese build coal plant failed on top of weak rainfall.

Without the coal plant however Sri Lanka would be in greater difficulties, and liquid thermal generation is about four times as expensive as coal.

The problems in Sri Lanka’s energy sector come mainly from rulers subsidizing power especially to retail users, places of religious worship and also to industry.

A tariff plan in 2011 also charged less from state schools and hospitals, with state-run power utility Ceylon Electricity Board taking on part of what should have been in the education and health budgets.

Over the past year credit taken to manipulate energy prices drove Sri Lanka into a balance of payments cris