Ceylon Electricity Board
|ලංකා විදුලි බල මණ්ඩලය
இலங்கை மின்சார சபை
Ceylon Electricity Board Logo
|Government-owned corporation overview|
|Headquarters||Colombo, Sri Lanka
|Motto||Enrich Life Through Power|
|Annual budget||204.7 Billion LKR (2014)|
|Government-owned corporation executives||
|Parent department||Department Of Power And Energy|
The Ceylon Electricity Board (also abbreviated as CEB), is the largest electricity company in Sri Lanka, a body corporate established under Act of Parliament no. 17 of 1969. 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.
Established in 1969, (before 1969, it was a government department: Department of Government Electrical Undertakings — DGEU) the company now has a total installed capacity of 3,932 MW of which approximately 2,115 MW is from thermal energy, and 1,817 MW is from hydroelectricity and Wind. Due to low wind resource, rough terrain and poor road conditions in Sri Lanka, CEB owns only one 3 MW wind farm in Hambantota, known as the Hambantota Wind Farm. The farm consists of five turbines, measuring 600 KW each. However 128 MW of Wind power plants owned by private sector (IPP) are already connected to CEB's National Grid. CEB also manages hydroelectric dams such as the Victoria Dam, and the Norocholai Coal Power Station.
Mission of CEB
To develop and maintain an efficient, coordinated and economical system of electricity supply to the whole of Sri Lanka, while adhering to our core values: Quality,Service to the nation,Efficiency and effectiveness, Commitment, Safety, Professionalism, Sustainability
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. 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.
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. The Sampur Coal Power Station, is currently under consideration in Trincomalee.
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. The power plant was officially commenced on 16 September 2014.
Blackouts and shutdowns
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.
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.
On 13 March 2016, Sri Lanka experienced another 7 hour island wide blackout due to a damaged transformer in the 220kV 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. 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. The engineer in charge of the Biyagama Substation had previously reported that a key transformer needed maintenance; however, no repairs were made.
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.
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%. 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.
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