Ceylon Electricity Board

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Ceylon Electricity Board - CEB
TypeGovernment-owned corporation
IndustryElectricity generation,
Electricity transmission,
Electricity distribution,
Electricity retailing
Headquarters50 Sir Chittampalam A, Gardiner Mawatha, Colombo, Sri Lanka
Key people
Eng. S. D. W. Gunawardana (Chairman)
Eng. Vijitha Herath (C.E.O) [1][2]
RevenueIncrease US$ 1.268 billion (2018)[3]
Decrease US$ -913.03 million (2018)[3]
Decrease US$ -138.12 million (2018)[3]
Total assetsIncrease US$ 4.127 billion (2018)[3]
Total equityIncrease US$ 304.3 million (2018)[3]
OwnerGovernment of Sri Lanka
Number of employees
Increase 20,593(2018)[3]
ParentDepartment Of Power And Energy

The Ceylon Electricity Board - CEB , is the largest electricity company in Sri Lanka. With a market share of nearly 100%, it controls all major functions of electricity generation, transmission, distribution and retailing in Sri Lanka. It is one of the only two on-grid electricity companies in the country; the other being Lanka Electricity Company (LECO). The company earned approximately LKR 204.7 billion in 2014, with a total of nearly 5.42 million consumer accounts. It is a government owned and controlled utility of Sri Lanka that takes care of the general energy facilities of the island. The Ministry of Power and Energy is the responsible ministry above the CEB. Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB), established by an CEB Act No. 17 of 1969, is under legal obligation to develop and maintain an efficient, coordinated and economical system of Electricity supply in accordance with any Licenses issue [4]

Subsidiaries[change | change source]

CEB has following subsideries[5]

  • Lanka Electricity Company
  • LTL Holdings (Pvt) Ltd
  • Lanka Coal Company Ltd
  • Sri Lanka Energies (Pvt) Ltd
  • Trincomalee Power Company Limited (Joint Venture)

Electricity Generation[change | change source]

Hydro power[change | change source]

Electricity generation by CEB is primarily done by hydro power. Hydro power is the oldest and most dependent source of electricity generation, taking a share of nearly 42% of the total available grid capacity in December 2014, and 37% of power generated in 2014.[6] Hydropower generation facilities has been constantly under development since the introduction of the national grid, but is currently declining due to the exhaustion of the resource.

In 2014, then Media Spokesperson at the CEB, Senajith Dassanayake said the generation of hydro power has dropped to 37%; as a result, 60 percent of the electricity needs have to be fulfilled by thermal energy.[7]

Thermal Power[change | change source]

The Norocholai Coal Power Station, the only coal-fired power station in the country is owned by CEB; it was commissioned in late-2011 and finished in 2014, under loans from Export-Import Bank of China. It added further 300 megawatts of electrical capacity to the grid.[8] The Sampur Coal Power Station, is currently under consideration in Trincomalee.[9]

Coal Power Development[change | change source]

In 2011, Ceylon Electricity Board opened a new coal power plant named Puttalam Lakvijaya. On 13 February 2011 it was synchronized with the system.[10]

On 17 September 2014, US$1.35 billion coal-fired Norochcholai Power Station was commissioned by the Chinese President Xi Jinping on his visit to Sri Lanka. The Export-Import Bank of China provided a US$450 million loan for the first 300 megawatt unit at the power plant.[11] The power plant was officially commenced on 16 September 2014.[12]

Controversies[change | change source]

Blackouts and shutdowns[change | change source]

  • On October 2010, during a test run, a fire broke out in the chimney due to clogging. Splits in the cooling system piping triggered a shutdown down of the power plant. The Ceylon Electricity Board decided to institute blackouts to households and Industries for three hours a day until the fault is fully repaired.[11]
  • On December 2013, more leaks were discovered in the cooling system, the CEB decided that the plant was too dangerous to operate at the moment. The CEB requested assistance from CMEC, and the company said that it would take about six weeks to fix the faults. After negotiations, the plant was repaired by CMEC and brought back online. A day later it failed once more and was shut down again for six more days.
  • In 2014, then Minister of Power and Energy, Pavithra Wanniarachchi, revealed that the Norochcholai power plant had been offline for 271 days out of the 1086 days since it had been operating.[11]
  • On 25 February 2016, the entire country of Sri Lanka experienced a 3-hour blackout due to a lightning striking the national power grid.[13]
  • On 13 March 2016, Sri Lanka experienced another 7 hour island wide blackout due to a damaged transformer in the 220 kV substation at Biyagama. It is considered to be the worst nationwide power outage in 20 years. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe appointed a five-member committee to investigate the blackout. Due to initial suspicions of sabotage, President Maithripala Sirisena deployed troops to guard electrical installations until the investigation was completed. The CEB also reported that the outage caused Lakvijaya Coal Power Plant to fail, resulting in a loss of 900 Mega Watts to the National Grid.[14][15] On March 23, 2016, Power and Renewable Energy Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya notified parliament that the reason for the power outage was a lack of regular maintenance of power installations.[16] The engineer in charge of the Biyagama Substation had previously reported that a key transformer needed maintenance; however, no repairs were made.[17]

2019 electricity crisis[change | change source]

  • In March 2019, the CEB decided to impose four-hour rolling power cut on a scheduled basis throughout Sri Lanka after the national grid capacity failed to meet the increased demand for power due to dry climate, and due to limited power generation.[18][19]

Losses[change | change source]

Ceylon Electricity Board has lost 25.5 billion rupees in 2011, and run up debts of 121 billion rupees with a petroleum distributor[who?] and independent power producers.[20]

In 2012, the CEB lost 61.2 billion rupees and the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation which supplied fuel below cost 89.7 billion rupees. To cover up the loss, the CEB increased power tariffs in large scales. The CEB expected to get revenues of 223 billion rupees—or 45 billion rupees more than the earlier tariff—from the price hike, but subsequently lost 33 billion rupees in 2013 on total expenses of 256 billion rupees.[21]

On 16 September 2014, after officially opening a completed $1.35 billion Chinese-financed 900 MW coal power plant project, Sri Lankan President at the time, Mahinda Rajapaksa addressed the nation saying that the electricity bills of the people will be reduced by 25%.[12] The CEB stated that it will take about two weeks to come up with a process of creating electricity bills to reflect the reduction in prices.[22]

Employee Tax[change | change source]

The CEB has been accused of Tax fraud by the Campaign for Free and Fair Elections (CaFFE), which has claimed that CEB has not deducted PAYE from its engineers and senior staff since 2010 amounting to Rs. 3465 million. CaFFE has claimed that this amount has been recovered from the consumer instead.[23]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Corporate Profile".
  2. "Our Management". CEB. Archived from the original on 22 July 2015. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Ceylon Electricity Board 2018" (PDF). Ceylon Electricity Board. Ceylon Electricity Board.
  4. Basnayaka, Chathuranga. "Ceylon Electricity Board" (PDF). University of Ruhuna. Retrieved 16 August 2017.
  5. {{cite web|url=http://www.ceb.lk/index.php?aam_media=21128%7Clast1=CEB%7Cwebsite=CEB Annual report|title=CEB | Home
  6. "Demand Side Management - Ceylon Electricity Board". Archived from the original on 23 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  7. "Generation of hydro-power has decreased – observes CEB". 2 September 2014. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  8. No more coal plants, retrieved 8 August 2010[permanent dead link]
  9. Ministry: Current energy projects (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 11 July 2009, retrieved 7 August 2010
  10. "CEB Annual Financial Statement,2011". Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 "A New Coal Power Station the Coal Industry Won't Boast About". HuffPost. 15 September 2014. Retrieved 19 September 2014.
  12. 12.0 12.1 "Sri Lanka cuts energy price after start of Chinese-funded coal power plant". Archived from the original on 9 October 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  13. "Sri Lanka suffers hours-long power blackout". The Star Malaysia, 25 February 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
  14. "Sri Lanka suffers hours-long power blackout". NDTV, 13 March 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  15. "Norochcholai out of action; power cuts to continue". Times Online. Archived from the original on 14 March 2016. Retrieved 14 March 2016.
  16. "Cause for power failures in Sri Lanka is lack of regular maintenance - Minister". ColomboPage News Desk, 23 March 2016. Archived from the original on 7 May 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  17. "Biyagama CE warned CEB often" (PDF). Ceylon Today, 17 March 2016. Retrieved 2 May 2016.
  18. "Drought, failure to raise power capacity force nationwide power cuts". Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  19. "Load Shedding" (PDF). Ceylon Electricity Board. Archived from the original (PDF) on 31 March 2019. Retrieved 1 April 2019.
  20. "Sri Lanka CEB loses rs25.5bn". Archived from the original on 9 May 2015. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  21. "Sri Lanka power tariffs raised - Update ". Archived from the original on 13 July 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  22. "CEB says electricity bill reduction will not reflect immediately". Archived from the original on 22 September 2014. Retrieved 20 September 2014.
  23. PAYE tax owed by CEB employees recovered from consumers: CaFFE

Other websites[change | change source]