CEB diesel consumption up 49.3%

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The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB)’s consumption of diesel, the most expensive source of electricity generation in Sri Lanka, had increased by 49.3 per cent YoY to 634 GWh from January to March this year, owing to the frequent breakdowns of the 900 MW Norochcholai Coal Power Plant, latest Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) data showed.

The breakdowns of Norochcholai Power Plant resulted in coal-fired electricity supply to the Nation declining by 10 per cent Year-on-Year (YoY) to 1,549 gigawatt hours (GWh) in the first quarter of this year.

Coal after ‘hydro’ was CEB’s second cheapest source of electricity last year, CBSL data further showed. CEB and its ‘allied’ sources led by coal, in total generated 4,177 GWh of electricity in the first quarter (1Q) of this year for the country, up 2.1 per cent YoY.

But, due to the frequent breakdown of Norochcholai Power Plant, the most expensive source of electricity generation to Sri Lanka, diesel, saw ‘CEB diesel electricity generation’ increase by 49.3 per cent YoY to 634 GWh in the review quarter.

Meanwhile, ‘CEB hydro,’ after ‘coal’ and the ‘private sector’ (PS), was the third largest source of electricity supply in the review 1Q, with supply increasing by 33.8 per cent YoY to 926 GWh.In related developments, the PS, led by its ‘diesel electricity generation’ was the second largest source of electricity supply in 1Q 2022, though its supply to the CEB which has a monopoly in the transmission and distribution of electricity to the island, saw CEB’s purchase of ‘PS electricity’ falling by 18.3 per cent YoY to 1,015 GWh in the review quarter.

Of this 1,015 GWh of private sector electricity bought by CEB in the review quarter, non-conventional renewable electricity (NCRE) comprising private sector mini hydro, wind, biomass and solar, saw a drop in supply to the CEB by 4.2 per cent YoY to 421 GWh in the review Q. In other developments, ‘CEB Wind’ in the review period saw production increase by 444.3 per cent YoY to 54 GWh.

By Paneetha Ameresekere