electricity supply industry still remains a state owned
monopoly in Sri Lanka. It is organized in the form of two
electric utility organizations – the Ceylon Electricity
Board (CEB) and Lanka Electricity Company (Pvt.) Ltd. (LECO).
With an estimated asset base of about Rs.100 billion, the
CEB is fully owned by the Government. The CEB, the Urban
Development Authority and the Treasury/Local Authorities
are shareholders of LECO.
electricity generating system in Sri Lanka is in transition
from a predominantly hydroelectric system to a mixed hydrothermal
system with private sector participation. In the year 1999
of the total installed capacity of 1688 MW, of which the
hydro capacity accounted for is 1143 MW.
The following indicates
the current and the future hydro/thermal mix
Major portion of the low voltage transmission network is maintained
by CEB and LECO is responsible for the distribution of power
to the Greater Colombo area.
electricity distribution system of the CEB consists of about
17,000 km of Medium Voltage Lines, 46,000 km of Low Voltage
Lines and 11,000 Distribution Substations catering to about
2,000,000 customers that form approximately 50% of the total
households. Emphasis is placed on the development of the
system to strengthen the network for absorption of future
load growth and new consumers. The country undoubtedly needs
an expansion of the network for human equality but this
objective requires a sufficient augmented electricity network
capable of absorbing load growth at a low power cost.
Sri Lanka, the demand for electricity has been growing at
an average rate of about 7% per annum over the past 20 years.
A 10% annual growth in power consumption is forecast. In order to meet this demand
the country needs to generate an additional 1530 MW by year
2008. Sri Lanka is therefore increasingly looking at non-hydro
sources of power.
Changes to the
Government is in the process of reforming and unbundling
of CEB by restructuring the power sector and enacting a
legislation to constitute a regulatory authority. The new
power sector reform legislation is expected to be in place
by mid 2001 and will provide for unbundling the generation,
transmission and distribution operation of the CEB in to
separate companies. The companies are likely to
include two or more power generating companies in addition
to the private sector power generation plants that an already
in operation, a power transmission company and appropriate
number of power distribution companies.
information could be obtained from the “Power Sector Policy Directions” which sets out the basic
principles on which the power sector may be restructured
Government is also encouraging investment in renewable energy
projects such as, wind power and mini hydropower generation.
It is estimated that Sri Lanka has the potential to realize
at least 200 MW of power through the development of potential
mini hydro sites in Sri Lanka.
CEB currently has a Standardised Small Power Purchase Agreement
(SPPA), in respect of renewable energy projects whose capacity
is less than 10 MW. Unsolicited proposals are entertained
by the CEB in respect of small projects less than 10 MW
for which the SPPA would apply.