The Sunday Leader

CEB Fears Power Shortage In 2018

By Ifham Nizam

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) expects a power shortage in 2018 if steps are not taken to commence more power plants in the country.

The CEB has proposed setting up 29 power plants at a cost of USD 13,000 million to meet the need  for the generation   of electricity.However, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyabalabitiya  recommended doing away with five of the 29 plants, thereby bringing down the cost to USD 11,000 million.

The Minister told The Sunday Leader that he wanted the CEB to come out with a proposal within four months on the proposed power plants. The much discussed Indian  partnered coal power plant partnered by the Indian government  in Sampur, Trincomalee may not be set up until 2020.

CEB Chief Anura Wijeyapala told The Sunday Leader that the CEB will look at alternative methods to meet the electricity demands of the country as Sampur may not be ready by 2018.In September 2015, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe assured his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Sri Lanka would go ahead with the Indian-partnered second coal powered plan.

Senior engineers stressed that if the government fails to speed up and add 500 MW from the proposed Sampur coal-fired power plant in Trincomalee by 2018, the country would have to pay about Rs.50 billion annually to generate power from other sources.



1 Comment for “CEB Fears Power Shortage In 2018”

  1. Trevor Jayetileke

    The best option in Sampur the site chosen for Coal fired Power Generation is to get the Japanese Project started with the initial 500MW plant capacity increased to 1000MW and leave the Indians to make up their minds at leisure.
    Power Generation has suffered in Sri Lanka because firstly Sri Lanka has no funds and has to depend on others and secondly our Politicians and Decision Makers keep Procrastinating due to which the CEB cannot meet deadlines.
    Thilak Siyabalapitiya and I had differences in opinion on feedstock to fire the Norochcholai Power Plant built by the Chinese but eventually the Coal Lobby won the day and at least we now have 900MW of Electricity which was the only way for Sri Lanka to reduce the unit cost and till then the Private Thermal Power Generators were holding Sri Lankan Consumers to ransom with the unit cost out of control and the CEB having no other option than paying the price to these Private companies like Aggariko the pioneer during the times of Minister of P and E , Hon. Kaluwara Jayasuriya as he was also known at that time now the Speaker.
    If we were able to introduce Natural Gas as suggested by me today we would have had a “Good Mix” of Hydro, Coal and Natural Gas giving a acceptable and fair unit price and also containing a reasonable “Carbon Footprint”. Probably Sri Lanka was not ready for Natural Gas or even Coal at that time for which Dr.Thilak Siyabalapitiya was the harbinger of coal and me for Natural Gas though we agreed to disagree at times. We missed a Good Opportunity to build a 300MW Gas Fired Power plant (LNG) in the early 21st century by a Australian Private Company fully funding the entire project and also supplying the LNG and as always something goes wrong and our consumers were the losers. It was during the time of Gen.Anuruddha Ratwatte. If we developed the perfect “Energy Mix” at that time today we would be in the box seat and producing cleaner electricity at a cheap unit price of “Hydro, Coal and Natural Gas” producing our “BASE LOAD” of 1500-2000MW per day keeping everyone happy.
    I could not offer anymore advice on Electricity as I was using all my energies on Oil Exploration since 2001 and still doing so though on my75th Year.
    Finding our Oil Resource the ONLY WAY Sri Lanka could get out of the RUT it is in today and even the “Three Wise Men from the West” who visited Sri Lanka for the “World Economic Forum” gave us little HOPE. I could make the difference if given the chance but there our others in my way who are there for other reason than for finding our Crude Oil. They are there and sent by vested interested who want Sri Lanka kept dependent so that we could be manipulated as a Poor Nation to suit their Agendas. With the Crude Oil price spiraling downwards we should emulate Singapore by building a MEGA-Oil Refinery and also look for our own Crude Oil through a newly created Oil and Gas Corporation with Private Sector Participation and break the stranglehold the PRDS has on Exploration serving only the interest of others and not SRI LANKA since its formation in 2005.

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