The chairman of the Public Utilities Commission (PUCSL) has urged the Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) to propose a tariff reduction taking into account the recent developments in the country that drive down the electricity utility.
In a press release, PUCSL chief Janaka Ratnayake listed several reasons as to why the CEB should slash the tariffs.
He stated that, as per actual data for the first quarter of the year, the electricity demand in the country has dropped by 18% in comparison to 2022, explaining that this reduces the reliance on high-cost oil-fired thermal electricity generation.
Apart from the demand, the USD exchange rate too has gone down from LKR 370 per USD to around LKR 325 per USD, which is a 13% reduction, Ratnayake noted, thus noting that this brings down fuel and other import costs of the CEB. “This alone would reduce costs by about 20% per annum.”
In addition to the aforementioned two cost divers, the international fuel prices too have reduced significantly, and as a result, the fuel costs to CEB would reduce significantly. “At present, the Richards Bay Coal index is at 133 USD/MT, Singapore PLATTS for Furnace Oil is 403 USD/MT, Singapore PLATTS for Diesel is 98.38 USD/bbl and Singapore PLATTS for high-quality chemical Naptha is 674 USD /MT.”
In a recent letter to the CEB, Ratnayake requested the CEB to propose a reduced electricity tariff structure capturing all these recent developments by 15 May.
“This is expected to provide much-needed relief to all the consumers, especially the vulnerable Domestic category consumers and the SME sector of the economy,” he said further.