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Sunday, 30 March 2014

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Huge investments in power generation avert crisis

The huge investments in the power sector and increased generation capacity of the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) in the recent past has averted a power crisis that would been inevitable due to the severe drought now prevailing, said CEB General Manager Shavindranath Fernando.

He said that water levels of reservoirs in terms of hydro power generation has reduced to 26 percent.

“The total hydro power capacity of the CEB is 1,257 Gwh and it has now come down to 328.3 Gwh and is further declining by 4.51 Gwh per day. No significant rain has been reported in the catchment areas of the reservoirs. There will be no power cuts and we expect rain to start soon,” Fernando said.

Water levels of all reservoirs have reduced sharply and the water level at the Castlereagh reservoir was 15 metres below spill level and at Mausakele 16 metres below spill level.

The water level in reservoirs in the Mahaweli complex was much lower and in Victoria it was 33 metres below spill level, Kotmale 20 metres and Randenigala 10 metres.

The water level of the Samanala reservoir was 21 metres below spill level.

CEB generation mix last Tuesday was 4.51 Gwh hydro, 31.48 Gwh thermal (including coal) and 0.32 Gwh wind and the total generation was 36.31 Gwh.Electricity supply depends heavily on thermal power and it accounts for 86.7 percent of power generation while hydro power is limited to 12.4 percent.

Wind power accounts for only 0.9 percent. The decline in hydro power generation is offset by coal power generation of Norochcholai, he said.

The cost of a unit of thermal power is around Rs. 24.00 while for coal power it is around Rs. 6.50-7.00. The unit cost of hydro power is around Rs.1.50. He said that the Norochcholai coal power plant is now functioning at full capacity. Renovation work at the Kukule Ganga power station has been completed while renovation work at the New Laxapana tunnel will be completed soon, he said.

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