CEB makes generation profit of over Rs 1B

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Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) made a generation profit of a minimum of Rs 1,056.9 million in the three days to Tuesday (6 September) aided by the cheap and clean ‘CEB Hydroelectricity Generation’ (CEBHG), CEB data from yesterday showed. All costs are computed according to CEB’s last year’s average tariffs and generation costs according to Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL’s) 2021 Annual Report.

Meanwhile, CEB’s generation profits in the three days to Tuesday alone could have been increased by 0.46 per cent (Rs 4,2 million) to Rs 1,061.10 million if the 900 MW Norochcholai Coal Fired Power Plant (NCFPP) was fully functional, statistics also  showed.

Meanwhile, CEBHG provided 55.53 per cent (21.48 gigawatt hours (GWh)) of the total 38.68 GWh of electricity generated on Tuesday alone. The cost of one unit (one kilowatt hour (kWh)) of CEBHG was the cheapest for the CEB last year at Rs 1.67 a unit, CBSL data further showed, while the most expensive was ‘CEB Diesel’ at Rs 32.03 a unit. The second cheapest source of electricity generation was ‘CEB Coal’ at Rs 10.68 a unit.

Meanwhile, CEB generated 0.11 GWh (that is, 0.28 per cent of total electricity) of electricity by burning ‘CEB Diesel’ at a cost of Rs 3.5 million on Tuesday as one of three of NCFPP’s 300 MW coal-fired plants have been dysfunctional since 27 June, forcing CEB to burn the expensive diesel to generate the balance electricity generated by the country. NCFPP was built by the Chinese in a mix of commercial and concessional terms at a cost of USD 1.35 billion.

But NCFPP more often than not has been partially operable since its commissioning a couple of years ago, forcing the CEB to burn the expensive diesel to fill the breach. If NCFPP is fully operational, it has the capacity to meet 40 per cent of Sri Lanka’s electricity demand on average.

Meanwhile, the third cheapest source of electricity for the CEB last year was ‘other renewable energy’ at a cost of Rs 16.22 a unit. Average tariff charges by the CEB last year was Rs 16.37 a unit according to CBSL.

In related developments, CEBHG breakdown of Tuesday comprised ‘Mahaweli’ (10.82 GWh), ‘Laxapana’ (8.19 GWh) and ‘Samanalawewa Complex’ (2.47 GWh), respectively. ‘Mahaweli’ comprises Victoria, Randenigala, Rantambe, Kotmale, and Upper Kotmale hydroelectric power projects (HEEP) projects, respectively. Victoria, Randenigala, Rantambe, and Kotmale HEPPs were built during the J.R. Jayewardene era after obtaining grant and concessional aid from the West. 

By Paneetha Ameresekere