Sri Lanka power utility looks for savings, amidst political bungling

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

Dec 19, 2007 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state power utility is launching a public campaign to conserve power as it is faced with rising generation costs and controlled tariffs that are driving it towards record losses, officials said. Years of political interference, which delayed the construction of coal plants, has meant that the Ceylon Electricity Board is now loaded with expensive liquid petroleum plants which generate more than 60 percent of its energy.

Sri Lanka’s current administration has now taken steps to build a Chinese coal plant, which would come on stream perhaps in 2011. The CEB would have a high cost base till then.

Savings

“In 2008 we will be burning 4.3 million litres of diesel a day at the cost of 274 million rupees,” CEB Chairman Udayasri Kariyawasam told reporters.

“We want to reduce that as much as possible. We think we can save some energy promoting energy saving practices among people and school children.”

Up to September this year, CEB has lost 13,975 million rupees on revenues of 64 billion rupees.

The firm gets about six billion rupees a year in loan repayments from the treasury as well as subsidized diesel from the state petroleum utility, the Ceylon Petroleum Corporat