Sri Lanka should add 1275MW to grid by 2020: PUCSL

Sep 19, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s power regulator Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) has given the nod for the Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) to add 1,275 megawatts of power to the national grid during next four years through the least cost long term generation expansion plan (LCLTGEP) 2015 – 2034.

“The plants listed in the LCLTGEP for the period 2017 – 2020, should be immediately constructed and operated, to prevent the possible power shortage in 2018,” Damitha Kumarasinghe, director general, Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) said.

“Accordingly about 1,275MW would be added to the national grid during next four years.”

The plants include two thermal plants with the capacity of 170MW in the Southern region, 105MW gas turbines, 300MW natural gas power plant and several renewable energy power plants with the capacity of 700MW which include three major hydro plants.

The current installed capacity in the national grid is 3,900MW, and with the new additions the total installed capacity will increase to be 4,955MW by the year 2020.

Kumarasinghe says the LCLTGEP 2015 – 2034 was resubmitted to the commission recently.

Even though 2015-34 LCLTGEP was sanctioned, the Commission emphasized that the CEB should submit the LCLTGEP for the period of 2018- 2037 for the approval of Commission, by 30th of April 2017, giving priority to the Government policy framework and the least cost principles.

The plants beyond 2020, mentioned in the plan 2015- 2034, should be revalidated with the 2018- 2037 plan, in line with the government policy, the Commission further said.

“The LCLTGEP 2018-2037 which will be submitted to the Commission by April next year should be based on wider consultation with stakeholders in analyzing demand forecast.”

“Also the Commission expects the plan should contain demand side management programme and related investment plan,ways of absorbing more electricity from readily available renewable energy sources and updated environmental, health and other externalities with the latest available figures.”

As per CEB forecasts Sri lanka’s generation demand is expected to grow 5.3 percent per annum during 2015 – 2034 while in addition the peak demand is expected to grow at 4.7 percent per annum.