Sri Lanka in talks for 500MW of floating power plants

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s power ministry is in talks for around 500 MegaWatts of barge mounted power to cover capacity shortfalls, Power Minister Ravi Karunanayake said amid warning into entering into large take-or-pay deals.

"We are in talks for supplementary purchase of 500 to 600 MW of barge mounted power," Minister Karunanayake told parliament.

"Technical details we are still receiving. We will be able to tell more next week."

Sri Lanka was in talks with Turkey for a ‘government-to-government’ deal he said.

"Turkey is very happy to provide power (puduma kemeththen idiripath karal thiyanawar), government-to-government." he said.

Turkey has companies like Karpoweship, which has large self-propelled power ships.

Karunanayake said in the Kelanitissa complex some power is generated at as much as 48 rupees, Uthuru Janani cost 69 rupees an old plant in Sapugaskande cost 38 rupees and West Coast plant was about 35 – 36 rupees a unit.

"Supplementary power bid we have given bid from 21 to 24 rupees," he said. "We have to go through the technical information to see if there are any problems."

Sri Lanka’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna said attempts were being made to generate power through ships without paying taxes and show a lower number. With taxes, a unit costs about 28 to 32 rupees depending on the type of fuel and machine.

"This is pushing numbers from here to there," JVP legislator Nalinda Jayatissa warned.

In Sri Lanka, liquid fuel is sold by state-run CPC to Ceylon Electricity Board with taxes, and the cost of all other plants are calculated on that basis.

Barge-mounted power may also come as take-or-pay which may also place additional burdens and undermine dispatch flexibility.

Under power purchase agreements executed with other plants, the committed capacity charge in only about 3 rupees a unit for unused contracted energy for the year and there is no liability for the energy charge which may be about 25 to 27 rupees.

But a composite take-or-pay deal will commit the CEB to pay the full energy charge. (Colombo/Apr05/2019-SB)