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Sri Lanka expects to connect 170MW plants to end blackouts

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board expects to re-connect two expired plants and go ahead with an emergency power deal that was delayed in controversial circumstances, industry officials said.

Sri Lanka has finalized the extension of a power purchase agreements with expired 50 MegaWatt Asia Power plant for a capacity charge of 2.66 and energy charge of 25.00 and the 24MW ACE Power Matara for 2.96 and 25.00 rupees.

ACE Power Matara is no longer owned by Aitken Spence.

Sri Lanka had already selected another 100MW of emergency power from a tender floated earlier this month.

Last week, ex-power minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya asked in parliament why the 100MW plants were not connected.

Aggreko had qualified to supply 34MW of power at prices between 32 to 34 rupees a unit, V-Power for 48MW for 28 rupees a unit and Altaca 18MW between 30 and 32 rupees a unit based on the location.

Sri Lanka’s power minister Ravi Karunanayake told parliament that he hoped to clear a shortage in power by New Year, or at least by Vesak.

Sri Lanka is now facing four-hour blackouts after the tender for a stop-gap power plant was bungled amid corruption charges.

A longer term crisis has also emerged because an India-Sri Lanka coal plant which was to have been initiated in 2015 was cancelled by the current administration.

In 2016, industry analysts forecasted power outages by 2018, but due to extra rain and slow demand growth blackouts were avoided. (Colombo/Apr04/2019-SB)