Sri Lanka to raise power tariffs from March 15

Mar 13, 2008 (LBO) — Sri Lanka would raise power tariffs from March 15 by slapping a 30 percent fuel recovery charge on most users and taking away subsidies now given to industries and religious institutions, a senior minister said. “This government is already giving a fertilizer subsidy to farmers and building infrastructure, so we cannot continue to give subsidies for power,” he said.

CPC has a high cost base because politicians in the past have blocked low cost coal power plants.

Critics say even now interests outside the CEB are pushing for more expensive Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants.

Though LNG has benefits such as lower pollution, CEB’s generation planning unit is pushing to have several coal plants in place first.

Updated Power minister John Seneviratne said the Ceylon Electricity Board was projecting total expenses of 137.7 billion rupees and revenues of 94 billion rupees for 2008 with 109 billion rupees spent on thermal energy.

This would result in a loss of 43.7 billion rupees in 2008.

Customers using more than 90 units a month would be charged an additional 30 percent thermal energy cost recovery charge, but those using a lower amount would have to pay a lesser surcharge, he sa