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Friday June 14th, 2024

Sri Lanka to announce power cuts as hydro storage plunges: regulator

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

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will allow scheduled power cut to save water in hydro reservoirs and also allow power consumers to plan their activities, the island’s power regulator said, as water levels plunged in key reservoirs.

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka will publish a schedule of power cuts based on a formula which assess available generation capacity, water and fuel in advance, he said.

“Today we hope to publish a schedule of power cuts which will allow consumers to plan their activities,” PUCSL Chairman Janaka Ratnayake said.

Water storage in reservoirs are now below 50 percent and to conserve water for March and April generation will have to be reduce from now, he said.

Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has sought permission to impose short power cuts from now on to avoid larger power cuts in March and April especially if inter-monsoonal rains are delayed.

Though 2021 was one of the best years for hydro storage, which came close to 1,200 GigaWatt hours by November, a coal plant outage in forced the utility to use extra water to avoid power cuts as forex shortages reduced the availability of liquid fuel.

Sri Lanka started printing money to keep interest rates down from February 2020 to create a ‘production economy’ blowing the balance of payments apart.

The CEB sought to impose power cuts after the coal plant outage as liquid fuel was not available due to forex shortages stop the problem from snowballing.

By February 2022, storage had fallen below 600 GigWatt hours, the same as 2019, a power cut year, compared to a little under 900 GWh in 2021.

Now the power system is faced with mutliple complications, industry watchers say. Castlereigh and Moussakelle in the upper reaches of the Kelani River is expected to run dry endangering water supply to Colombo.

Key frequency response reservoirs, Kotmale and Victoria are also below 50 percent and Kotmale is expected to be taken out to save water for the next cultivation season, leaving the utility without a generator to ensure power at 50 cycle (frequency response power plant).

Meanwhile with Samanalawewa running dry, the Southern grid would also face outages as the area was served by a 132kV section of the grid which had few generators and the interconnection with the 220kV system was weak.

Sri Lanka’s power demand which was muted during the Coronavirus pandemic had picked up amid an economic recovery. (Colombo/Feb15/2022)

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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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