Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), the operator of the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant on Japan’s northeast coast, posted a bigger-than--expected annual loss of US$9.67 billion yesterday and warned of tough times ahead.
The company said its ￥781 billion net loss came in a year in which it was hit with massive costs to deal with reactor meltdowns, as well as increased imports of fossil fuels to make up for a nuclear power shortfall.
The net loss was worse than a previous prediction for a ￥708.0 billion shortfall and reflects an increase in projected compensation payouts to those affected by the world’s worst atomic disaster in a generation.
Revenue was ￥5.35 trillion, down from ￥5.37 trillion a year earlier.
TEPCO’s earnings come less than a week after the Japanese government confirmed it would take a controlling stake in the firm, effectively nationalizing one of the world’s largest utilities.
Tokyo will inject ￥1 trillion as part of a 10-year restructuring -program aimed at preventing the vast regional power monopoly from going bankrupt, a plan it said would see TEPCO come under “temporary state control.”
Yesterday, TEPCO president Toshio Nishizawa said fuel costs were likely to jump this year after Japan shut down the nuclear reactors that once supplied about one-third of its electricity, following last year’s atomic crisis.
“This increase in fuel cost is based on an assumption that we will have no nuclear power in the year [to March],” Nishizawa told a press briefing in Tokyo.
He added that the utility expected industry to accept rate hikes, while residential rates were also set to rise, as the economy picks up pace.