Drought hits Sri Lanka mini-hydropower firms

ECONOMYNEXT – Electricity generation by Sri Lanka’s mini-hydropower companies has been sharply reduced by severe drought that also raises the prospect of looming power cuts, according to a new report.

The island’s hydropower capacity, most of which is from large government hydropower reservoirs, is about 40% of total generation but has been halved owing to lack of rain.

“Mini-hydropower plants are not delivering the expected output,” said the ‘Initial Drought Rapid Assessment 2016/2017’ presented on the drought impact Monday organised by the Asia Pacific Alliance for Disaster Management Sri Lanka (A-PAD Sri Lanka).

Mini-hydropower generation is only around 20MW when installed capacity is 400MW, the report said.

It warned that power cuts were looming owing to the ‘double monsoon failure’ that has depleted hydropower generation capacity.

The problem was worsened by the breakdown of part of the Norochcholai coal-fired power plants, which with a total installed capacity of 900MW had been supplying the base load when running at full capacity.

The government has assured the business community that it will not impose power cuts and would buy power from private firms and asked industries with their own generators to produce their own electricity supply.
(COLOMBO, Feb 21, 2017)


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