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Looming power shortage: CEB seeks purchase of power for 6 months

30 December 2016 06:46 am - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is to urgently lease purchase power at a cost of nearly Rs. 35 per unit for the next six months on an emergency basis at a total cost of Rs. 8 billion, the Daily Mirror learns.

The CEB has sought the approval from the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) to lease purchase a 65 MWs of power for six months considering the prevailing power situation in the country.

However, an energy expert told the Daily Mirror that the CEB should first attempt to purchase additional power from local power providers and the paying Rs. 35 per unit for lease purchase was extremely costly and would further burden the CEB compelling it to a tariff revision in mid 2017.

The CEB is still in the reds and not paid back its loans fully. Therefore, the power purchase at this price is not advisable,’ he stressed.

The CEB is of the view that a possible power shortage during the first half of next year could be avoided only by urgently purchasing power if the situation is allowed to he continued further.

The CEB has informed the PUCSL that the CEB Board had decided to introduce a Self-Generation Scheme for Bulk Customers as a means of slowing the drawdown of hydro reservoirs and has proposed as a solution to lease purchase power through international open tenders from December 05, 2016 to until April 30, 2017.

To be eligible, the Bulk Supply Customers shall have a Generator capacity of 100 kWh or above.

The customers shall generate at least 2000 units of kWh per month or 20% of their total monthly consumption.

The offered purchase rate (rebate) for a unit (kWh) is Rs 36.00 during Day Time (5.30 am to 6.30 pm and Night Peak from 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm.

The offered rate of Rs 36.00 is calculated based on the average Fuel, Operation & Maintenance Cost of a Diesel Generator at the current price of Diesel of Rs 31.50 and an additional incentive of Rs. 4.50 which is equal to the incentive offered in the past.

Your concurrence is required at earliest to implement the proposed scheme which would have an impact on the revenue requirement of distribution licensees.

Procumbent of 60 MWs of supplementary power is the only option available to the CEB to meet the demand under the current dry spell experienced in the count following the failure of two consecutive monsoonal rains and second inter monsoonal rain. Hydro reservoir storage has depleted to critical level. The total storage now stands at 480 GWh and it is the lowest recorded in this time of the year compared to last 25 year, the CEB has said.

Present Hydro Storage as at December stood at Castlereigh 57.6%, Maussakele - 46.4%, Kotmale – 42.8%, Victoria - 24.8%, Randenigala 60.8% and Samanalawewa 27.2% with the total contribution of hydro power to the national grid at around 25%.

The total system inflow has dropped to around 2 to 3 GWh during this month resulting in hydro energy storage to continuously deplete. If this dry spell continues then the inflow will further reduce in the future. It is also to be noted that recorded minimum inflows were received in this year during the months of September, October, November and December compared to last two years.

This will result in starting storage to be lower in the beginning of 2017 leading to a serious power supply situation in next six months until the onset of South-West Monsoon in May 2017. The demand for electricity will also increase due to higher temperature in the country due to continuing dry spell, further aggravating the situation.

Under the above circumstances, the CEB is planning to Procure 60 MW of Supplementary Power for 6 months to meet the demand due to current dry spell experienced in the country.(Sandun A Jayasekera)

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  Comments - 5

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  • mm Friday, 30 December 2016 05:38 AM

    light up more useless trees. what a waste of electricity for only this month all around Colombo. other countries decorate streets with lights because they dont have a electricity crisis. our local fools. via DM iOS App

    Anja Friday, 30 December 2016 07:26 AM

    Again hike via DM Android App

    RYG Friday, 30 December 2016 07:56 AM

    Just need to get a little clarity on this.these might be silly questions, but appreciate if someone can shed some light to my doubts :) I understand that the CEB has taken a few steps to address the power shortage issue :1. The self generation scheme: what incentive would individual parties have on doing this? Are they paid 36 rupees for each unit?2. Lease power purchase through international tenders: how does this work exactly? Is this in reference to solar power ?

    Raspi Friday, 30 December 2016 09:54 AM

    Since 20years back we have had power shortages and non of the governments have addressed this issues.

    Johan Friday, 30 December 2016 10:11 AM

    Poor shame on our rulers. This basic requirement was ignored more than 20years not found ways to address.Countries depending on generator power where there are no hydro projects available there are no power cuts implemented


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