Sri Lanka electricity utility to add two fuel oil power plants

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-owned electricity utility has revealed plans to add two high-cost fuel oil power plants to its electricity generation mix after the government took a controversial decision to scrap a planned coal-fired plant whose construction was about to start.

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) plans to add one 100MW and one 70MW furnace oil or fuel oil power plant, respectively, among several planned power stations.

These two power plants were originally scheduled to be commissioned in January 2017, but the CEB has told the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) that they will now be commissioned two years later, by December 2018.

CEB engineers had warned that the utility would be forced to go for fuel oil power plants after the government scrapped a 500MW coal-fired power plant in Sampur, north-eastern Trincomalee, to have been built with aid from India.

The decision could mean higher costs for electricity consumers, CEB engineers warned.

The CEB imposed temporary power cuts recently after the breakdown of its 900MW coal-fired power plant, which now carries the base load, amid a severe drought that reduced hydropower capacity.

The PUCSL last week expressed concern over the delay in commissioning the fuel oil-fired power plants along with delays to several other planned power plants.
(COLOMBO, Nov 21, 2016)

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