July 03, Colombo: Sri Lanka's state owned power supplier Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has sustained an operational loss of Rs. 18.6 billion for the first four months of 2014, the Finance Ministry said in its Mid-year Report.
The losses have been attributed to the drop in hydro power production and increase in thermal power from coal and oil to provide an uninterrupted power supply throughout the country.
Due to the delays and lack of rainfall as expected in the catchment areas, hydro power generation has substantially dropped to 19.5 percent in the first four months of 2014 compared to 50 percent in 2013.
Accordingly, the generation cost per unit has increased to Rs. 24.37 against Rs. 17.70 in 2013.
However, the diversified coal friendly generation mix has enabled CEB to mitigate the adverse effects to some extent.
The report said the 300MW third phase of the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai is scheduled to be commissioned in the second half of 2014 which would increase the total volume of coal powered electricity provided to the national grid to 900MW.
With the shift towards using coal, the weighted average generation cost is expected to further decline, the mid-year Financial Report said.
CEB's long term generation plan for 2011‐2025 has been prepared taking in to consideration the necessity to meet the increasing demand for electricity with a diversified low cost generation mix with more weight towards coal.
However in order to ensure energy security, the report suggested that CEB should strategically add Non‐Conventional Renewable Energy (NCRE) sources such as wind, biomass and solar to its generation mix to establish a sustainable energy platform.