Sri Lanka energy regulator warns of looming power shortage

www.economynext.com, 07th July 2016

Sri Lanka’s power sector regulator has demanded the state utility submit a revised long term power generation plan without further delay, warning of looming power shortages by 2018.

“Under drought conditions, even with planned plant additions, Sri Lanka faces energy capacity shortages in 2018-2019 and beyond,” the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL) has told the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

It said the CEB had been asked to re-submit its Least Cost Long Term Generation Expansion Plan 2015-2034 (LCLTGEP 2015-34) in December 2015 but the plan had not been received to-date.

The transmission licensee’s delay in submitting the LCLTGEP 2015-34 could “further aggravate this situation,” according to the PUCSL’s letter released to the public.
 
The Commission has demanded the CEB submit the revised plan, including solutions to meet the energy and capacity demand during 2016-21, before 1 August 2016.

It said the CEB has forecast demand to rise 5.5% a year during 2015-22 with peak demand expected to grow at 4.4% a year.

According to the Commission’s analysis, considering the low reliability of the Norochcholai coal-fired power plant, Sri Lanka could face energy and capacity shortages in 2018-2019 and beyond under drought conditions even with planned plant additions.

The CEB has indicated delays in completing the Sampur coal power plant with the government asking India, which was to build the plant in a joint venture with CEB, to considering switching fuel to natural gas from coal.

The Commission emphasised the need for “vigorous implementation” of several measures to void possible energy shortages.

These include a national demand side management program, development of planned conventional power plants on time and the need to expedite grid integration of planned renewable energy based plants.

 

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