CEB losses soar to Rs. 85 bn in 2019 | Daily News


No power output added since 2015

CEB losses soar to Rs. 85 bn in 2019

The Ceylon Electricity Board has incurred a loss of Rs. 85 billion last year due to its failure to add a single unit of power to the national grid since 2015.

This failure of the CEB was due to the lack of any energy production initiatives during the previous UNF government’s tenure, Transportation, Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera disclosed yesterday. Because of the lack of any additional energy output, in 2020, the CEB is likely to record a loss of over Rs.120 billion in 2020, based on the current projections.

The Minister made these statements during a tree planting campaign at the Dematagoda Railway Yard during the commencement of duties for 2020, at the Transport Ministry.

He noted that many of the state institutions had become loss making institutions due to their inefficiency. He said that the CEB had to face such huge losses as the previous government had failed to implement any new power generation projects and add energy output to the national grid during its entire tenure.

“As a sudden power crisis was anticipated power was purchased under emergency purchasing procedures. Meanwhile, the public had to be provided electricity at a concessionary rate despite the CEB having to purchase power at a higher rate, the Minister said.

“Currently we provide electricity to 1.3 million low income households at Rs. 2.60 per unit whereas the CEB spends Rs. 24 per unit to generate this power.”

The Minister noted that similar to the CEB, the Railways Department had also recorded a loss of Rs. 8 billion annually. Therefore, he urged the staff of the Railway Department to work with commitment this year to transform this loss making department into a profit making one. Amaraweera said that the government has a huge challenge before it in 2020 and announced that many new power projects were in the pipeline for 2020 to ensure that there would be no power crisis in the country.

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