Sri Lanka power utility making large losses: report

Mar 31, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has lost over 24 billion rupees in the past quarter with low rainfall hitting hydro power, a media report said, raising concerns over credit expansion and exchange rate stability. The Sunday Times newspaper quoting a letter written by CEB General Manager Shavi Fernando said CEB was estimated to have lost 8.0 billion rupees in January, 8.4 billion in February and 7.9 billion in March.

The CEB was seeking “more liquidity” and senior officers have been asked to tighten collections from customers including state institutions that have large unpaid bills.

CEB’s thermal power generation bill has shot up amid a drought over the past few months.

Inter monsoonal rains usually come in March-April followed by the main South Western monsoon from May to August and later the North East monsoon from November. But the 2013 North East monsoon and inter-monsoonal rains this year have been weak.

2014 is also expected to be a so-called ‘el Nino’ year, where exceptional drought conditions are seen in several parts of the world.

State energy enterprises that subsidize energy do not pass on the actual cost of imported energy to their customers have in the past borrowed money s