Great expectations

Saturday, 23 October 2010 06:58 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

CEB takes on Norochcholai, agrees to repay Rs.155 billion by 2015, absolves Ministry and Treasury of responsibility; Minister expresses confidence on meeting deadline despite expected loss to be Rs. 40 billion in 2010

The Ceylon Electricity Board (CEB) is taking on the big guns by agreeing to take over full responsibility of repaying the Rs.155 billion loan for Norochcholai by 2015 to the Treasury and the Power and Energy Ministry despite bearing a projected loss of Rs.40 billion for 2010.

Under the new agreement the CEB has become the sole responsible party for the payment of the Rs.155 billion loan that was accepted by the government from China. The Treasury and the Power and Energy Ministry have agreed to hand over full responsibility for making payments to the CEB, a press release from the Ministry said.

It also detailed that the payments would be made to the Treasury and would complete the transaction by 2015. The statement pointed out that the CEB has been enjoying renewed fortunes since June by posting consistent operational profits and detailed the Power and Energy Minister Champika Ranawaka’s confidence that the institution would continue in its current path.

“For the first time in history, the CEB recorded operational profits of Rs.205 million in June followed by Rs.355 million in July and Rs.1.3 billion in September.

Even though the projected loss at the beginning of 2010 for the CEB was Rs.40 billion the Minister is optimistic that it would be reduced by 50% by year end.”

The focus of the ministry is to convert CEB into a profit making and stable State owned Enterprise, maintains the Ministry Statement.

Meanwhile on Wednesday the Power and Energy Ministry signed another agreement with China to develop the Broadland Hydropower plant at a cost of US$ 82 million.

The tender was accepted as the most cost effective, after considering another estimate from local engineers that quoted US$ 102 million. This plant is the last of the Laksapana water source and is expected to commence construction next year with the initial plans getting off the ground on 17 November. It will provide 35 MW of power to the national grid and will be built in Kithulgala.

The project is expected to be completed in 2014.   (UJ)