Due to the lack of rain power crisis could occur says minister.
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Minister of Power and Energy Patali Champika Ranawaka said that the CEB incurs a loss of Rs. 3 billion per year to provide electricity to the Jaffna peninsula.
Addressing a press conference in Colombo yesterday the minister said that the CEB has to stomach a daily loss of a staggering Rs. 200 million. He further added that 80% of the losses incurred by the CEB was due to the fuel costs incurred, as over 80% of electricity is generated through thermal power.
The resettled IDP’s in the Northern peninsula have been provided free electricity supply for a period of one year, and the CEB has to bear the burden of the costs involved in providing electricity. In addition the CEB also is burdened by those illegally tapping electricity and the cost of maintaining street lamps.
Minister Ranawaka pointed out that there are over 800,000 street lamps across the country, while only around 400,000 have been authorized by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) or the Lanka Electricity Company (LECO). According to the minister it costs around Rs. 150 per night to maintain each street lamp, which amounts to around Rs. 1,200 -1,400 million at the end of the year, according to CEB accounts.
Minister Ranawaka further added that although the CEB is facing a crisis currently the situation will be rectified by 2014 and the CEB will be transformed into a profit making establishment. He said that currently it costs Rs. 71.00 to generate a unit of electricity at present. However he added that with the establishment of coal, gas and renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power plants the CEB will be able to bring down the cost per unit to around Rs. 07.00. Steps are also being taken to operate the Yugadanavi power plant from liquid gas (LND) by 2014.
The minister also refuted allegations that a considerable amount of power is being used currently due to the 20Twenty cricket matches being held under lights. “The ICC is operating the floodlights of all the stadiums through their own or hired generators, and the power is not obtained through the main power supply. Therefore it has no impact on the main power supply network,” he said.