Sri Lanka power utility to lose Rs40bn in 2010

Chandi Dharmaratne

June 02, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run power utility Ceylon Electricity Board is expected to lose 40 billion rupees (350 million US dollars) in 2010 and short term debt is mounting but there are plans to turn the utility around, officials said. The CEB is expected to earn 120 billion rupees as revenue in 2010 but its operational expenses would be 159 billion rupees.

“We initially expected revenue to be around 127 billion but the latest projections show that it will be around 120 billion rupees,” power minister Patali Ranawaka told reporters.

“In the last 10 years the CEB has lost 148 billion rupees and it will lose 391 billion rupees in the next 10 years.”

This year, the CEB is expecting demand to grow by 7-8 percent, power ministry secretary M M C Ferdinando said.

CEB estimates power needs to grow by about 2 percentage points ahead of gross domestic product growth, which is officially forecast at around 6.5 percent.

Last year power generation shrank 0.8 percent though GDP growth was officially estimated at 3.5 percent.

In the first two months of 2010 power generation was up 7.4 percent to 1,651 GigaWatt hours, against a 6.2 percent drop a year earlier according to data released by the Central Bank.

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