Sri Lanka power utility battles monsoon failure

Sept 09, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board which has been badly hit by a failure of the island’s main monsoon is expecting about 6 billion rupees of losses in 2011, due to extra thermal generation.

Peak Management

Sri Lanka’s evening peak load is about 2,000MW now, without counting mini-hydro capacity. The CEB is operating slightly over 1,400MWs of thermal capacity and topping up the balance with its large hydros.

At the moment most large plants are running, except the steam part of a 165MW CEB owned combined cycle in the Kelanitissa complex which is about 55MW.

The utility experienced some problems in supplying the night peak earlier in the year when a 300MW plant went down resulting in load shedding.

It is running its own the thermals and IPPs flat out in the day time and keeping hydro plants for the night peak.

But the CEB also has to generate power during daytime especially in the Mahaweli river valley system reservoirs due to irrigation needs for farmers.

Rain Pattern

Sri Lanka’s North East monsoon runs starts in November. Before that there is an ‘inter-monsoon’ period when the South west monsoon winds ceases, which also brings some inf