Tue, Jul 18, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Taipower’s accumulated losses top NT$100 billion

IN THE RED:The state-run utility posted surpluses from 2014 to last year, but reported a first-half loss due to electricity rate cuts and higher energy prices

Staff writer, with CNA

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) lost nearly NT$7.1 billion (US$233.41 million) in the first half of the year, pushing the state-run company’s accumulated losses to above the NT$100 billion level.

Several state-run companies performed well last year, with the combined pre-tax surpluses of Taipower, CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油), Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖) and Taiwan Water Corp (Taiwater, 台灣自來水) exceeding NT$80 billion.

SOLE LOSER

Taipower posted the biggest gains of any of the state-run companies last year with a surplus of NT$39.6 billion, but it was the only state-run enterprise that failed to turn in a profit in the first six months of this year.

CPC reported a pre-tax profit of NT$17.6 billion, while Taiwater had NT$576 million and Taisugar had NT$1.79 billion during the same period.

Taipower attributed its losses in the first half to lower revenues and higher costs.

The company said it lost nearly NT$10 billion in revenue in the first six months because of a 9.56 percent cut in electricity rates that took effect in April last year.

MAINTENANCE

On the cost side, the drop in Taipower’s nuclear-power generation because of reactor shutdowns and maintenance forced the company to buy extra fuel oil and natural gas to make up for the power deficit, adding NT$12.87 billion in costs.

At the same time, the prices of oil, coal and gas in the first half rose from the same period last year, further pushing up Taipower’s costs by about NT$10.65 billion, the utility said.

Prior to this year, Taipower had whittled down its accumulated deficit to about NT$90 billion after running surpluses of NT$14.15 billion in 2014, NT$61.78 billion in 2015 and NT$39.61 billion last year.

The utility has issued NT$43 billion in corporate bonds this year to prop up its finances.

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