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
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
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.