Govt. considers acquiring private thermal power plants to replace aging CEB facilities

  • To call competitive bids for generation of 4,000MW of renewable energy 

The government is exploring the possibility of acquiring some of the privately-owned thermal power plants, as it looks to decommission several of the old thermal power plants owned and operated by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).
Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera yesterday told Parliament that it is cheaper to buy electricity from privately-owned power producers than generating electricity through some of the CEB-owned thermal power plants.

For instance, he said the cost of generating a unit of electricity at the Kelanitissa GP7 thermal power plant is as high as Rs.143. 

Wijesekera stated that the newly established emergency power purchase agreement with Ace Power, spanning a six-month duration, offered a notably lower price.
“Some of these CEB-owned thermal power plants like Kelanitissa should have been decommissioned 20 years ago. So, we are discussing with thermal power plants such as Ace Power to take them under the government, so that we can generate thermal power at a relatively cheaper cost,” he said.

Meanwhile, Wijesekera revealed that a joint Cabinet paper by the Power and Energy Ministry and Investment Promotions Ministry is set to be submitted for the Cabinet approval to initiate competitive bids for the generation of 4,000MW of solar and wind power.
He said the plan is to generate 3,000MW through solar power and 1,000MW through wind power within the next three years. Wijesekera noted that this would allow the government to achieve the 70 percent renewable energy target by 2030.


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