Proposed CEB tariff hike :


Switch to coal power paying dividends
Fuel adjustment charges soon to be scrapped
Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi

More than three million households will experience a price increase of less than Rs 75 temporarily until the generation cost of electricity is reduced drastically as a result of the prudent policy decision taken by the government to switch onto low cost coal power generation rather than depending on expensive petrol and diesel powered power generation, Power and Energy Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said. She said three million family units in the country use less than 90 units of electricity a month out of which one million use only 30 units and another million use less than 60 units of electricity.

The minister said the government spends Rs 50 billion to provide electricity to consumers at a concessionary rate while spending an astronomical sum to provide a 100 percent electricity supply by the middle of next year.

Wanniarachchci said the government is providing electricity free of charge to the newly resettled IDPs in the North displaced due to terrorist activities and they have being provided this facility at government expense for one month. She said the government’s expenditure to provide electricity to the industrial sector at a concessionary rate is Rs 25 billion.

The price increase proposal has been designed to charge more from consumers who use an excess amount of electricity units a month, the minister said. Wanniarachchi said the government under the leadership of President Mahinda Rajapaksa took an unwavering decision to set up a coal power plant which generates a unit of electricity at a cost of Rs 7.50. She said no government took such a people-friendly decision but purchased a unit at Rs 60 from the private sector. “This government decided to add another 600 Mws from coal power plants by the end of this year to the national grid which will significantly reduce generation costs.”

Minister Wanniarachchi said the joint Indo-Lanka coal power project in Sampur will commence this year. She said the Japanese government promised to provide a new hi-tech 500 MW coal power plant during the President’s visit to Japan. The minister said with the operation of these coal power plants, most fuel power plants could be abandoned, thus cutting down on generation costs. “This will directly reduce the consumer bills since the CEB will remove the fuel adjustment charges from their bills,” Wanniarachchi said.


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