Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board loses Rs23.1bn up to April

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board has lost 23.1 billion rupees in the four month ending April 2019 from 17.5 billion rupees last year, as costs increased amid a breakdown of a coal plant, and demand also picked up, a finance ministry report said.

The losses were financed mainly out bank borrowings. Outstanding debt to banks had risen to 80.4 billion rupees from 67.4 billion rupees.

Arrears to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation and Independent Power Producers also grew to 103.1 billion rupees by end April from 71.61 billion rupees, indicating that there may be other customers who had owes money to CPC, hitting cashflows.

Electricity generation had increased to 5,319 GigaWatt hours (millions of units) in the first four months 2019 up from 5,138 units last year.

Cost per unit had risen to 22.05 kiloWatts per unit from 20.4 units in 2018.

Sri Lanka’s current administration scuttled a coal plant in Trincomallee pushing up costs of the utility.

The Public Utilities Commission, which was set up to make the sector viable has also failed to give price increases, resulting in tax payers eventually financing bailouts of the utility. (Colombo/July08/2019)