The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) General Manager Nihal Wickremasooriya said that the company could lose up to $118 million in 2011 from a number of factors, including inclement weather.
In reporting the projected losses, which some estimates by the Power and Energy Ministry project to be even higher, Wickremasooriya said, "However, the management also took some decisions, maybe to show more profits by using excessive hydro power. This was not the usual procedure at the CEB. Optimal use of water is the key. By taking a gamble, especially when there is no rain, one is compelled to switch to expensive energy sources… This in turn puts a lot of pressure on the CEB," Colombo’s The Island Online newspaper reported.
The CEB is seeking to diversify is indigenous power generating sources beyond a heavy reliance on hydroelectricity, according to Power and Energy Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka. A Ministry source said, speaking on condition of anonymity, “Power generating through hydro power plants has decreased and it is not enough to fulfill the consumer demand due to heavy decline in the capacity of reservoirs which are feeding hydro power plants.”
Addressing issues of the 1.5 gigawatt hour per day Victoria hydro power plant, the country’s largest power station, which produces 10 percent of the nation’s electricity Victoria hydro power plant’s CEB electricity engineer in charge of operations J.A.S. Jayasinghe noted that while the capacity of the Victoria reservoir is 722 million cubic meters, it currently it has only 270 mcm, commenting, “As a percentage it is only 30 percent. When the reservoir is full, Victoria generates 675 gigawatt hours, but the present power generating capacity is only enough to generate 70 gigawatt hours.”
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com