Package Deal

Jun 01 (LBO) – The government has approved a restructuring plan for loss making Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), which includes re-scheduling 60 billion rupees of its long term debt.

Top officials said Thursday that 50 percent of the debt will be off-loaded to the Treasury, with CEB taking over repayment once the Norachcholai coal plant is operational.

We have recommended and the government has agreed to off-load the long term debt of the CEB by re-scheduling 50 percent of it to the Treasury and allowing CEB to recommence payments to the government after the coal power plant comes on board, M M C Ferdinando, Secretary to the Ministry of Power and Energy told journalists on Thursday.

The balance is to be issued as authorised share capital.

The CEB also has 40 billion rupees in short term debt on its books, Ferdinando said, and is expected to post a 26 billion rupee loss this year.

The state utility has a monopoly on electricity generation, distribution and transmission, selling power at 7.70 rupees a unit to domestic users, well below generation cost of 12 rupees.

A new 300 megawatt coal plant is being constructed at Norachcholai, expected to shor