ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run Ceylon Electricity Board has lost 31.7 billion rupees up to August 2020, sharply down from 85.4 billion rupees a year ago, with more hydro and coal power being generated, the Finance Ministry said.
CEB’s revenues had fallen 2.3 percent from a year earlier to 158 billion rupees from 162.03 billion rupees up to August 2020, amid a Coronavirus lockdown that reduced demand for industry, general purpose and hotels, the finance ministry said.
Direct generation costs had fallen 22.7 percent to 125.3 billion rupees from 162.08 billion rupees a year ago.
Cost per kilowatt hour had fallen to 20.63 rupees in the first eight months from 23.61 rupees per unit from a year ago with thermal fuel falling, hydro and coal rising.
Hydro: thermal (fuel): thermal (coal): NCRE & wind ratio was 22:28:41:9 in 2020 compared to the 17:37:38:9 in 2019 the finance ministry said.
CEB’s operating loss had halved to 31.724 billion rupees in up to August 2020 from 63.755 billion rupees in 2019.
Payments made by the CEB to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) and Independent
Power Producers (IPPs) have reduced 41.2 percent in the first eight months of 2020.
CEB had received 48 billion rupees from a Fuel Price Stabilization Fund (FPSF).
But CEB’s short-term borrowings to banks had gone up to 103.792 billion rupees by end August 2020 from 89.42 billion rupees in December.
The Ceylon Electricity Board’s costs are artificially bloated at times due to high margins charged by the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation for furnace oil, critics say.
The current administration also adjusted the price, though furnace oil is not market priced. (Colombo/Nov23/2020)