“I decided to get the barge – owned by a Turkish Company to give relief for the public by upgrading the financial status of CEB…………..”
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“If anyone can purchase electricity for a lower cost than thispoint it out…….”

“No price hike of a household electricity unit…………..”

Ravi Karunanayake

Minister of Power, Energy and Business Development

Hon. Ravi Karunanayake, Hon. Minister of Power, Energy & Business Development emphasizes that “We need to generate power at a low cost and upgrade the financial status of CEB. There are temporary, medium -term and long term solutions to solve this matter. We have taken initial steps for this by getting barge – owned by a Turkish Company. Some are questioning about availability of lower prices to get this. I wish to ask anyone who could get at a lower price than this to point it out.”  ”

He stated this answering to the media at the Ministry premises.

The Minister added that,

“We tried not to purchase electricity, but we could not accomplish   it due to the shortage of power. Power generation cost of currently functioning power plants is above Rs.30.00. However, when tenders were called immediately to purchase electricity, the cost was around Rs. 28.00 – Rs. 30.00. As the cost is high in case power is purchased, we decided to purchase electricity only for 06 months”.

There were various views among the public on the purchase of electricity. Among them, there were views that this is a huge waste of money. So, we made aware the public to put forward alternatives to change the prevailing situation while purchasing power.  At that moment, the government of Turkey made a proposal. Their price was Rs. 24.98. The cost inclusive of tax is Rs. 26.20. Accordingly, we submitted a proposal to the Cabinet and obtained cabinet approval as its cost is less than the cost of our power stations.

We did not decide a sudden purchase of power. The officers of CEB pointed out that there is a shortage of 470 MW and asked to supply it immediately. As a result, we went for a sudden purchase of electricity. Some people do not like to see that power solution has been solved and power cuts have come to an end. It is more economical to purchase electricity not from CEB, but from the private sector, but as we have already signed agreements they cannot be changed.

Even though these things happen whatever way, we will not allow to increase the cost of a household electricity unit. We secure it and do not go for power cuts. We should generate power to achieve it.  The demand for electricity is increasing 6% – 7% annually. It is around 350 MW. Even though renewable energy resources added around 400 MW of power from 2012, at least one unit of electricity was not introduced to the national system. We will not have any issue if we could fulfill our daily requirement of electricity from hydro power. However, shortage of the hydro power sources has changed this situation. So we have to look for alternatives. We have to decide either to generate through CEB or to purchase temporarily from outside in order to continue the power generation at a low cost. The country experienced sudden purchase of power at this much of low cost for the first time in history. We will call tenders next week and we are trying to purchase electricity for two years at a lower cost than this.

We looked into the matter that how the ship  imported from Turkey could be connected to the national system. Accordingly, it could be connected with Galle, Colombo and Hambantota harbours with a short distance. Even among them, Kerawalapitiya is much easier for the connection when compared with Galle and Kerawalapitiya. It will take around one month. The difficulty is we cannot add 200 MW from Kerawalapitiya.  However we pay only for 100MW of Kerawalapitiya plant out of the 200MW. We have agreed to pay 50%.  We will get another 65% from Galle. It means we will get only 115MW from the power ship  of 400MW. The Turkish Company does not have power ships  in the size to cater our requirement. Hence we import 400MW  ship  and get 50% of it. If we don’t get these two ships, CEB has to spend Rs. 94 billion for a period of six months. On the other hand, if we get these two ships only Rs. 93 billion has to be spent. Accordingly, there will be a return of Rs. 01 billion to CEB. These calculations have been made under dry weather. In case of a rain, the cost will decrease.

We will import 03 plants as 300 MW from China, 300 MW from Japan, and 300 MW from India. All these plants will be coming after 2022. Until that we are facing a shortage of electricity. As per the Electricity Act, we can go for a sudden purchase. If the cost of a sudden purchase is more satisfactory than the tender price as per the Electricity Act,  we followed this procedure in the event of purchasing electricity.