CEB, PUSCL likely to iron out differences

By Rathindra Kuruwita

A longstanding disagreement between the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) and the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) on the Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan (LCLTGEP) 2020 -2039 is coming to an end with the CEB agreeing to attend meetings with the PUCSL following some changes the regulator has made to the CEB activity plan.

Meetings between the two parties were to commence on August 01, 2018, but the dispute prevented them from taking place. The approval of LCLTGEP 2018 – 2037 was also delayed as a result.

CEB General Manager, A. K. Samarasinghe, writing to the Director General of PUCSL, on September 05, 2018, said that his institution was ready to ‘commence further activities in this regard including attending meetings’. Samarasinghe added that a consensus on the process to be followed during the approval of LCLTGEP 2020 -2039 was a prerequisite for ending the dispute between the Commission and the CEB on LCLTGEP 2018 - 2037.

The CEB General Manager, however, has objected to one of the activities suggested by the PUCSL––stakeholder consultations on input data."Upon receiving a revised activity plan, we will make arrangements to commence further activities in this regard, including attending to meetings".

On July 12, 2018, the PUCSL informed CEB of the activities that needed to be conducted to approve the LCLTGEP 2020 - 2039. The activity ‘stakeholder consultations on input data and constraints,’ that the CEB objects to are to be held between November 15 and Dec 15.

Sri Lanka has not built a new power plant since 2014 although the PUCSL has approved a number of LCLTGEPs. As a result, the CEB is facing difficulties in meeting the demand for power and CEB procures power from independent power producers (IPP) at a much higher price. The CEB paid Rs. 27 per unit of power produced by ACE Power - Embilipitiya between April and July. Altogether CEB has paid Rs 2.24 billion to procure 84.7 million units from ACE Power alone. Ace Power - Embilipitiya is owned by Aitken Spence PLC.

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