Sri Lanka’s murky power utility costs under fire

Apr 04, 2013 (LBO) – Costs claimed by Sri Lanka’s power monopoly Ceylon Electricity Board are murky, the efficiency of expensive plants and other costs are not independently audited, respondents at a public hearing on a proposed tariff hike said. Disallowing around 30 billion rupees from the tariff filing also raised more questions about cost transparency he said.

Siyambalapitiya said the inclusion of three retired power plants for dispatch in 2013 by the CEB, and PUCSL’s assumption that such energy can be provided by hydropower plants, were both irresponsible actions.

He said CEB’s tariff methodology misinterpreted an established tariff methodology. A bulk supply account which was supposed to have been set up in 2011, which would make many costs transparent, was still not in existence.

Siyambalapitiya said the regulator should also have clawed back 13 billion rupees allowed in 2011. The claw back alone could cut the tariff by 6.0 percent.

He said transmission and distribution losses of both CEB had Lanka Electricity Company (LECO) had come down to 12 percent ahead of target for which they should be commended.

But the CEB’s transmission unit had losses of 4.4 percent which was higher than the 3.0 percent target for 2012