Kanchana Wijesekera

Minister Wijesekera: Overstates one of the most pessimistic scenarios of the already overstated loss scenarios of the CEB


If we are in a situation where there is no rainfall, provided that we are able to obtain all the coal we need by April, we would be able to provide electricity all 24 hours of the day, without interruptions…That means, as a whole, our generation cost is Rs. 889 billion. From that, we receive only something like Rs. 400 billion.

Parliament Hansard | November 25, 2022


Partly True

Fact Check

FactCheck.lk interprets the minister as claiming that the shortfall between the Ceylon Electricity Board’s (CEB) revenue and cost will amount to approximately LKR 489 billion for 2023, despite the increase in electricity tariffs in August 2022.

To evaluate these claims, FactCheck.lk consulted the energy generation requirement for the year 2023 proposal submitted by CEB to the Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka (PUCSL).

The CEB proposal presents estimates for 12 scenarios (see Exhibit 1). The scenarios vary, among other things, by (a) level of rainfall (supporting hydropower), (b) contribution by non-conventional renewable energy, (c) duration of power cuts. All of them project losses.

The losses projected in the scenarios vary from LKR 247.8 billion to LKR 423.5 billion (See Exhibit 2). The minister’s claim is closest to scenario A, which assumes a minimal contribution from hydropower plants, and non-conventional renewable energy sources and that total demand will be supplied with no power cuts in 2023.
The loss intimated by the minister is about 15% higher than the loss projected by the CEB for that scenario. It is even more misleading because the scenario he selectively presents is one of the most pessimistic scenarios presented by the CEB (not likely to be the most probable).

The minister selectively presents one of the most highest loss scenarios of the CEB and overstates even that by over 15%. Therefore, we classify his statement as Partly True.

*FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.

*Correction/Update on 31 January 2023: The factcheck has been edited to add the words “one of” before the words “the most” in three occurrences.

 Exhibit 1: Variables considered for the scenario analysis by the CEB  

Note*- Roof Top solar generation has been reduced due to the proposed three hour-power cuts considered for the study

Source: Ceylon Electricity Board 


Exhibit 2: The minister’s claim vs. scenario analysis for financial projections for the CEB 

Source: Ceylon Electricity Board  

Additional Note

The CEB loss calculations are also hugely higher than the calculations of the PUCSL. The PUCSL is the regulator and the authoritative source for evaluating the accuracy and reasonability of costs and revenue projections. In December 2022, the PUCSL published its most plausible scenario, as one that would result in a loss of only LKR 15 billion.  


Ceylon Electricity Board, Estimated Generation Requirement for Year 202, (18 November 2022), available at https://mcusercontent.com/7dec08f7f8b599c6b421dfd10/files/fb13861f-9819-f047-0580-4137fb3cbf68/Generation_Requirement_for_2023_18.11.2022_R3_CEB.pdf [Last accessed 26 January 2023] 

Public Utilities Commission of Sri Lanka, Electricity Cost Forecast 2023, (21 December 2022), available at https://mcusercontent.com/7dec08f7f8b599c6b421dfd10/files/93a36d81-a134-61dd-dba9-9fd8b054cf22/PUCSL.pdf  [Last accessed 26 January 2023] 

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