News Update :

No power cuts in Srilanka, drought notwithstanding - Minister

Friday, July 6, 2012


Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka yesterday said that no power cuts will be imposed in the country though water levels in hydro-power reservoirs have dropped drastically due to the drought.

The CEB loses Rs 200 million daily as it relies on fuel guzzling thermal power. But is has provided a subsidy worth around Rs 17 billion for household electricity users as well as for industries. The thermal plants alone can generate around 1,500MWs and to meet the daily peak capacity, the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) can use the remaining hydro-power and supply electricity without power cuts, he added.

The minister was addressing a press briefing at the Power and Energy Ministry to explain the current situation with regard to electricity supplies in the context of the prevailing drought.

Inter-monsoonal and monsoon rains were interrupted thrice for the first time and it is the reason for the drop in water levels in the hydro power reservoirs in the country, he said.

As a result of the drop in water levels, 85 percent out of the total daily power requirement had to be provided through thermal power.

“The Victoria and Lakshapana reservoirs are the main hydro power reservoirs in the country and they still have enough water levels to generate hydro power requirement. Sri Lanka’s daily power requirement is around 31 gigawatts and seven gigawatts out of the total is generated by hydro power,” Minister Patali explained.

Denying the various allegations on the reasons for the reservoirs running dry, the minister asserted that the drought condition was the only reason for the power crisis.

“Sri Lanka is the only country which provides a 24 hour electricity supply at fair rates. The government has already provided electricity to most parts of the country and it will provide electricity to the whole country by the year 2016, “ he said.

“The power generation capacity in hydro-power reservoirs had fallen to low levels because of the drought forcing the CEB to use more thermal power plants,” the minister said.

The ministry urged the public to pay attention towards energy conservation not merely at peak time, but, also throughout the day.

The minister stated that this is not a personal request or a request made according to a personal agenda. This is a national request made according to a national agenda.

It is up to the people to act in a manner that would eliminate the need to impose power cuts,the minister further stated.Power and Energy Deputy Minister Premalal Jayasekara, CEB Vice Chairman Anura Wijayapala, Deputy General Manager (System Control) T.D.Handagama were also present.
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