Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) has been hit by falling reservoir water levels, which have cut its output to just 25 per cent of nominal hydropower capacity.

The closure of the 165 MW AES Kelanitissa combined cycle plant for repairs has aggravated the supply shortage, said the Power and Energy Ministry. The plant is due to return to operation on 31 July, said CEB chairman Professor Abeywickrema. CEB engineers said a recurring problem affected the plant’s gear mechanism.

CEB unsuccessfully attempted to start its Fiat gas turbine after the shutdown of the AES plant. The machine will now be shipped to Italy for repairs.

CEB is now operating five of its oldest 20 MW gas turbines, which were installed 30 years ago and run on auto diesel. Their high generating costs of $0.27-0.50 per unit are causing massive losses for the firm.

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