Sri Lanka power output down in May, diesel sales up

July 24, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s electricity generation in May 2009 fell 3.6 percent to 834 million units (GigaWatt hours) from a year earlier, while diesel sales were up 22.2 percent, the latest government data showed. Thermal power generation at state-run Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) tripled to 243 million units from 81GWh a year earlier amid dry conditions, while hydro generation fell to 211GWh from 512GWh.

In the five months to May electricity generation was down 4.3 percent to 3,971GWh, and CEB hydro generation was down 42.6 percent to 998GWh. Private sector generation was up 25.8 percent to 1,899GWh.

Energy generation does not correspond to actual sales due to losses in transmission. In recent years, the CEB has been steadily reducing transmission losses.

In 2008, the CEB generated 9,901GWh of energy but sold 8417GWh. System losses fell to 15.0 percent in 2008, from 15.7 percent in 2007 allowing sales to grow by 1.7 percent in 2008 though generation increased only 0.9 percent.

But higher volumes of thermal generation could also result in greater transmission losses.

Diesel sales were up 22.2 percent to 165,000 metric tonnes in May 2009 from a year earlier. From January to May diesel sal