ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board owes 137.9 billion rupees to independent power producers and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation amid sudden cost rises which were not compensated by a rise in revenue, Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera said.
The CEB owes renewable independent power producers 28.5 billion rupees, other thermal power producers 76.8 billion rupees, rooftop power owners around 1 billion rupees, Minister Wijesekera told parliament.
Sri Lanka’s rupee collapsed in March from around 200 to the US dollar to 360 to the US dollar after two years of money printing pushing up costs of imported fuel.
“On average last year the CEB’s generation cost was 23.6 billion rupees a month and revenue was 21.7 billion rupees,” Minister Wijesekera told parliament.
“This year the cost has risen to 33 billion rupees a month while revenue stayed around 20 billion.”
The CEB also owed the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation 31.6 billion rupees for fuel, despite payments made by the Treasury.
The Public Utilities Commission in a separate statement after approving a tariff hike said it had sought subsidies from the Treasury which had declined and said 86 billion rupees in subsidies had already been given.
The PUCSL then resorted to cross subsidizing by overcharging larger users.
Meanwhile the CEB also had 137 billion rupees of term loans and 281 billion rupees of project loans, Minister Wijesekera said. Total debts, including projects loans for expansion was now valued at 612 billion rupees, he said. (Colombo/Aug12/2022)