Sri Lanka power utility cuts losses with rain

Dec 15, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state run Ceylon Electricity Board has turned a small profit in the three months from June to August helped by heavy rainfall, which has allowed the utility to maximize hydro generation, according to power ministry data. The utility has made profits of 772 million rupees in the three months to August, compared to a loss of 5,806 million rupees in the five months to May.

During the first five months thermal independent power producers (IPPs) and fuel has cost 36,269 billion rupees averaging 7,253 million a month. From June to May thermal generation cost 17,145 million rupees averaging 5,715 million rupees.

But costs to private renewable plants went up to 2,899 million rupees from 1,803 million.

Most private plants are mini-hydros which have also been experiencing exceptional rain and cost about 11.00 rupees a unit.

The CEB is now running ‘hydro-maximum’ mode which means each day up to 75 percent or more of the total energy is made from hydro, with several large reservoirs and small ponds now spilling.

But thermal capacity is still needed to fill total energy needs, especially during the night peak.

Power minister