Hydropower purchases under scrutiny

Members of Ape Sri Lanka Vimukthi Dushantha, Sanka Dharmasiri and Rasiru Egodage addressing media. Picture by Sudath Nishantha

An organisation of concerned individuals said their organisation will take a legal action against purchasing electricity at high prices by the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB).

Ape Sri Lanka (Our Sri Lanka) President Vimukthi Dushantha addressing the media said a huge racket when purchasing hydropower from private hydropower plants. The CEB has planned to purchase a unit of hydro power for Rs 8.48 from 16 private power generating companies even though the CEB can purchase a unit for Rs 5.23.

“At present, the CEB purchases a unit of hydro power for Rs 5.23 from ten small scale hydropower generating private companies. The Power and Renewable Energy Ministry has forwarded a Cabinet paper to purchase power at an high price from 16 other small scale hydropower generating private companies.The unit cost has been estimated at Rs 8.48 per unit” he said.

According to him these small scale hydropower plants have been come to effect from 1996. Those companies entered into agreements with the CEB in connection with selling hydropower to the CEB for 15 year period. Most of those agreements had come to end by 2010 or 2011.

“Then the Ministry appoint an expert committee to form a fresh agreement for purchasing hydropower from these 26 private companies. As par the committee reports 10 companies have agreed to sell 1 unit of hydropower for Rs 5.23 each. But the other 16 companies insisted on the Ministry officials to forward a cabinet paper seeking high price per unit. According to the cabinet paper, a unit of hydropower is going to be purchased by the CEB for Rs 8.48 from the 16 companies despite a unit could be purchased for Rs 5.23” he said.

This is clearly a racket, he noted. As a result of this monetary misconduct, the CEB will have to bare an additional cost of Rs 3,500 million per year.

Vimukthi said that the Ape Sri Lanka orgainisation will take a legal action to protect the misuse of public wealth.

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