Sri Lanka power generation up 9.2-pct in first quarter

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 17, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s power generation in the first quarter of 2010 has increased 9.2 percent from a year earlier, with a larger proportion coming from cheaper hydro power amid exceptionally wet weather, official data showed. Private sector operators generated 1,105GWh, down 7.1 percent. Short term or emergency producers operating mainly in the north of the island, generated 19GWh of energy, down from 23 GWh last year. First quarter power generation grew by 217 million units (GigaWatt hours) to 2,581 GWh from a year earlier, Central Bank data showed.

In the month of March, power generation grew 12.6 percent to 930 GWh, with hydro growing 56.7 percent to 326GWh and thermal growing 6.2 percent to 326GWh.

In 2009 Sri Lanka’s power generation shrank 0.2 percent to 9,882GWh amid an economic slump. In 2008 power generation grew by a marginal 0.9 percent, though officially the economy grew at a real rate of 3.5 percent.

Officials are expecting power demand to grow by around 7-8 percent this year. The Central Bank recently upped the growth forecast for 2010 from 6.5 percent to 7.0 percent.

State-run Ceylon Electricity Board generated 59 percent more hydro power this quarter at 938 GWh and thermal generation fell 1