Thursday, July 7, 2022
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Powerless: Sri Lankans to hit with electricity price hike with power cuts

Faced with fuel shortage in dollar crisis and high cost of power generation,debt strapped  Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB)is set to revise electricity tariff  amidst the tug of war between the two ministries of power and energy for power cuts

In the wake of proposed 1- 4 power cuts with no dollars more to import fuel to avoid the energy crisis,President Gotabaya Rajapaksa instructed the Ministry of Power not to enforce  power cuts and also ordered the payment of the required funds to settle the issue.     

Plans are afoot to ‘rationalise’ the electricity tariff shortly to discourage consumption , CEB Chairman M.M.C. Ferdinando said, adding that the 52-year-old system should be changed for the betterment of the electricity consumer.

He said the CEB had received 1500 MT of fuel recentlY and would receive another shipment soon. However, short-term power interruptions would continue in several areas until the operations at the Kelanitissa Power Station returned to normal.

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) hinted at a possible upward revision in electricity tariffs, noting it was crucial to ensure financial viability of the State-owned CEB to provide uninterrupted power supply.

Following the 25% tariff reduction in 2014, the Commission noticed that there was no revision.

It is the responsibility of the utility to set the tariffs and obtain approval from the PUCSL,” PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said.

“According to Ratnayake, the CEB is incurring a loss of around Rs. 40 per each electricity unit (using diesel) and Rs. 4.50 (hydro and other sources) as a result of providing its service at a concessionary rate. 

“Even amidst such concessions, the collective dues of consumers to the CEB and Lanka Electricity Company Ltd. (LECO) accounts to over Rs. 50 billion. 

Regionally too, the PUCSL Chief pointed out that Sri Lanka had the lowest tariffs for electricity comparatively.Ratnayake also highlighted that the CEB has not set the tariffs as per the cost-effective methodology approved by the Commission since 2014..

He stated that the CEB has requested the PUCSL for permission for daily power cuts from the 25th of January until the 04th of February.

Presently, State and private sector companies are in possession of several 3,000 MW generators, he pointed out, adding that these generators could produce electricity which would assist the production of electricity in the country.

The PUCSL Chairman added discussions were carried out with the companies that own such generators, adding that private companies have agreed to provide their assistance to rectify the power crisis.

Faced with fuel shortage in dollar crisis and high cost of power generation,debt strapped  Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB)is set to revise electricity tariff  amidst the tug of war between the two ministries of power and energy for power cuts

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