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* Sri Lanka power supplier facing severe financial crisis
Mon, Mar 31, 2014, 11:18 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Mar 31, Colombo: The state-owned power monopoly in Sri Lanka, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is facing a severe financial crisis due to the drought and the lack of low cost power generation to meet the demand, a local media report said.

It has been reported that in order to address the power crisis, the CEB has commenced a revenue collection mechanism from ministries, departments and other state institutions.

According to the Sunday Times that has quoted internal accounts of the CEB, the Board had incurred a loss of Rs. 8 billion in January alone and the losses increased marginally in February to Rs. 8.4 billion.

However, the loss has declined in March to Rs. 7.9 billion.

The losses have risen as the thermal power generation has increased shapely due to the prolonged drought which has affected the hydropower generation.

As of Sunday, the thermal power contributed 85.3 percent to meet the daily power requirement and hydropower contributed only 14.3 percent.

CEB General Manager W.J.L.S. Fernando has informed senior CEB managers on March 18 that due to the lack of adequate low cost generation options combined with the present drought situation, the CEB is compelled to use expensive thermal generation to meet the demand.

Among the measures proposed in the letter to address the crisis is an acceleration of the revenue collection process with special attention to receivables from government ministries, departments and other public enterprises.

According to CEB accounts, the Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant in Norochcholai cost the utility Rs. 246 million in January and Rs. 717 million in February. For much of those two months, the plant was either shut down for repairs or experiencing problems. In March, the CEB spent Rs. 1 .6 billion on the ailing thermal plant.

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