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Friday June 14th, 2024

Sri Lanka may not be able to supply 50Hz power if Victoria, Kotmale dry up

PARCHED: Hydro reservoirs are down and the bottom is exposed.

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board could lose the ability to provide a stable 50 cycle frequency as two large hydro plants are running dry, which can lead to outages or damage to customer equipment, industry analysts warn.

The CEB has asked for sustained power cuts to conserve water for the dry season in February and March after a coal plant outage could not be filled with other thermal plants due to forex shortages.

A power grid supplying alternative current operates on a cycles where the current switches from negative to positive.

Sri Lanka’s power grid operates on a 50 cycles per second (Hz).

When demand rises from customers the CEB has to ramp up generation to avoid the frequency falling below 50Hz and reduce generation when demand falls to stop the frequency going above 50 Hz.

If it is not done, power supply will become unstable and customer equipment will be damaged. Sections of the grid can also fail.

This is why the CEB has to shed loads despite political or regulatory orders making power cuts ‘illegal’.

In most countries that changing demand and supply or frequency response is managed by a key power station.

In Sri Lanka frequency response is provided by Kotmale and Victoria power stations. Unlike thermal stations which run at maximum efficiency within narrow ranges, large hydros can vary their output widely.

The CEB uses either Kotmale or Victoria for the purpose.

However with the failure of a coal plant and the inability to get foreign exchange due to money printing, the CEB has been forced to run down Victoria and Kotmale to avoid power cuts.

CEB has sought to cut power for one hour cuts to conserve water. Earlier the PUCSL gave permission to cut power but the focus was on the short term consideration of available capacity.

“This is not a problem of day-to-day capacity availability,” an industry official said. “There are other implications which have knock on effects. That is why the load shedding was sought.”

Kotmale generation is expected to be halted to conserve water for irrigation after the Maha season ends.

Only Victoria is expected to be available for frequency control from mid March.

The CEB is rapidly running down its water storage which is already down to below 50 percent industry officials said.

Long power cuts of 3 to 4 hours may be forced on the only by late March unless loads are shed industry officials have warned.

Energy Minister Udaya Gammanpila has made similar warnings.

The rapid fall in storage is identical to 2019, which was a power cut year according to industry watchers.

The CEB runs its generators giving priority to drinking water, irrigation and then for its own use.


Sri Lanka could face long power cuts, water shortages, grid failures from March

In Kelani River Castlereigh and Moussakelle, which are used to provide water to Colombo during the March – April dry season are expected to fall below operating level by February and March, depriving Colombo of water.

In another complication, Samanalawewa which is crucial to providing power to the Southern grid is also running down. The Southern grid which is in a 132kV section of the grid has limited generators.

Unless water is conserved large sections of the grid may face outages, industry watchers say. (Colombo/Feb14/2022)

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Sri Lanka opposition leader proposes Grama Rajya system in addition to 13A

Opposition leader Sajith Premadasa (r) – File photo

ECONOMYNEXT — Sri Lanka opposition leader Sajith Premadasa has proposed devolving power to the village level through a Grama Rajya system in addition to implementing the 13th amendment to the constitution.

Speaking at an event in Jaffna on on Wednesday June 12, Premadasa said all provinces will benefit from the 13th amendment.

“Whatever one’s ethnicity, religion, status or region, this country has citizens of equal level. They’re all Sri Lankan citizens.

“There is no division or grouping.  As we give you and every other province what you should be given through the 13th amendment, we must implement a Grama Rajya system,” Premadasa said, addressing a crowd of school children and other attendees.

Premadasa’s assurance of implementing the 13th amendment has already drawn some protest in the south.

A collective of civil society organisations held a protest outside the office of the leader of the opposition in Colombo on Thursday June 12.

Calling itself the ‘Coalition Against Partition of Sri Lanka’, the group carrying national flags marched up to the opposition leader’s office Thursday June 13 morning and demonstrated against the full implementation of the 13th amendment.

“We arrived here today to hand over a missive against devolving police powers, land powers and judicial powers. If Mr Premadasa is inside, come outside,” Jamuni Kamantha Thushara, Chairman of the Citizen’s Movement Against Fraud, Corruption, and Waste, was seen declaring at the site.

“First of all, tell us what we stand to achieve by dividing and giving away the north and east,” said another protestor, warning against bringing the 13th amendment “anywhere here (paththa palaathe)”.

A police officer at the scene the protestors that a secretary to the opposition leader was ready to accept their letter.

“In Kilonochchi, he says the 13th amendment will be implemented. The votes in the north are going to be decisive this election. To win those votes, President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Sajith and Anura Kumara Dissanayake all say they will implement the 13th. We will not allow this country to be divided into nine pieces,” said Thushara.

Ven Balangoda Kassapa Thero, who was arrested on June 06 during a protest against the new Electricity Act, was also seen at Thursday’s protest. The Buddhist monk requested for a debate with Premadasa on the matter of the 13th amendment. (Colombo/Jun12/2024)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes flat at 303.85/95 to US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed broadly flat at 303.85/95 to the US dollar on Thursday, from 303.80/304.00 to the dollar the previous day, dealers said. Bond yields were down.

A bond maturing on 15.12.2026 closed at 10.00/30 percent, down from 10.20/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.10.2027 closed at 10.60/75 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2028 closed at 11.00/15 percent, down from 11.15/40 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2029 closed at 11.80/85 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed at 11.85/12.05 percent, down from 11.90/12.05 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.10.2032 closed stable at 11.95/12.15 percent. (Colombo/Jun13/2024)

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Sri Lanka sells Rs295bn in 2027 to 2031 bonds

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has sold 295 billion rupees in 2027, 2029 and 2031 bonds, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold an offered 60 billion rupees of 15 October 2027 at an average yield of 10.30 percent.

All offered 125 billion rupees of 15 September 2029 bonds were sold at 11.00 percent.

All 110 billion rupees offered of 01 December 2031 bonds were sold at 12.00 percent. (Colombo/May13/2024)

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