Call edition 2012

A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.

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Private investment in power sector and deviations from least cost plan

Madhavi KUDALIGAMA student laureate

°1972 Sri Lanka
Master’s degree in Engineering, Electrical Power, University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, 2000

Private investment in power sector and deviations from least cost plan

Contribution to the assessment of the stock of mangrove oysters (Crassostrea gasa Adanson) in the national park of the Saloum Delta (Senegal)

Developing countries rely increasingly upon the growth of industries such as electricity production. Since the production of electricity is very capital intensive, some countries open their production to the private sector, not only to expand their capacity, but also to circumvent public sector constraints. In most Asian countries, for instance, plants are being set up, which are either ‘build, own and operate’ or ‘build, operate and transfer’ utilities. This introduces new trade-offs as far as expansion planning studies are concerned.
Madhavi Kudaligama’s contribution concerns the expansion planning study for the period 2000 – 2017 of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, where the annual growth rate of the electricity demand is about 6.1 %. Firstly, she analyses the technical and financial performances of the national electric utility, which is operated as a public monopoly by the Ministry of Irrigation and Energy. In an economy like the one in Sri Lanka, private investment offers a sensible way to cope with the rising demand. This, however, implies a change from long to short range planning in order to take into account the shorter return periods desired by the private investment sector. Thus, the introduction of some plants must be brought forward and new ones must be developed. The objective of Miss Madhavi Kudaligama’s project is to set up a methodology that formulates recommendations based, not only on least cost, security and environmental considerations, but also on case to case evaluations, assessing the potential impact of sub-optimal deviations. The outcome of these tentative assumptions is evaluated by means of linear programming techniques. Madhavi Kudaligama’s contribution thus aims at resolving conflicts of interest between private and public investment in a key sector for developing countries.

report by Prof. Dr. Paul Jespers, Electrical Engineering Department,UniversitéCatholique de Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium