Tue, Jan 13, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Ministry slashes prices of natural gas

By Elizabeth Tchii  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Ministry of Economic Affairs cut domestic natural gas prices yesterday by an average 13.47 percent retroactively, starting on Jan. 1 and said it would review its natural gas pricing formula on a monthly basis.

“Each household will see a price cut of approximately NT$2.06 per kilowatt hour, or at least NT$80 in savings per month,” Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said after a routine meeting at the MOEA on natural gas prices.

An average 13.47 percent decrease in domestic natural gas prices translates to price cuts of between NT$1.98 and NT$2.20 per kilowatt hour, Shih said.

The price cut varies depending on the class of consumer.

Gas-generated power users may see a price cut of up to 13.83 percent, whereas industrial users will only see a 12.5 percent drop.

“Even though the Consumers’ Foundation has suggested the option of a cut of up to 26 percent in natural gas prices, there is currently no room beyond the 13.47 percent we are offering at this point,” Shih said.

The Consumers’ Foundation uses the West Texas crude index as its benchmark, but CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油), imports its natural gas from Malaysia and Indonesia.

Because of the price discrepancy and CPC’s actual costs, further price reductions are unlikely, Shih said.

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