Power crisis looms due to implementation delays: PUCSL

The Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has predicted that the cumulative effect of implementation delays over the next three years “can very likely trigger a Power crisis that can seriously affect the national economy”. The Electricity Regulator has also taken a stand against Emergency Power being bought to meet the energy shortfall that may be caused by implementation delays, and said the costs must not be passed onto the customers through tariffs.
The PUCSL yesterday issued a 5-page Report titled, ‘Financial Impact of Delay in Implementation of Power Plants’. The power plants referred to are in the Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) Generation Expansion Plan.

“The Commission does not recommend purchasing Emergency Power in the future, to meet any capacity or energy deficit due to implementation delays of these upcoming Power Plants, and is of the view that such costs should not be passed through to the consumers through tariffs,” the Report states. “The Government may consider a change in industry structure if the generation plan implementation cannot be efficiently carried out within the current structure.”

The Report warns that Sri Lanka will suffer a staggering loss of Rs 50.62 billion due to implementation delays in the 2018-2020 Power Plant schedule. Any delay beyond the estimated periods forecast by the PUCSL, will cost a further Rs 3.43 billion a month. The Regulator “has been continuously monitoring the progress of the CEB in implementing the approved plan, and has observed delays in the procurement process of Power Plants expected to be commissioned by 2020”.

The Kerawalapitiya 300 MW natural gas-fired Power Plant, the 122 MW Uma Oya Hydro Plant and various solar, wind and mini-hydro projects are now overdue. And cost overruns and load shedding (interruption of an Electricity supply to avoid excessive load on generating Plants) are prominent and direct consequences of these delays.


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