The Fair Trade Commission said yesterday it was investigating the state-run Taiwan Power Co’s (Taipower, 台電) controversial decision to purchase electricity from independent power producers (IPPs).
The commission has prioritized the probe and will ask the four IPPs involved to appear at public hearings in the near future, commission Chairman Wu Shiow-ming (吳秀明) said during a question-and-answer session at the Legislature’s Economics Committee.
Wu’s remarks came after Taipower filed lawsuits against Kuo Kuang Power Co (國光), Star Energy Corp (星能), Sun Ba Power Corp (森霸) and Hsing-yuan Power Corp (星元) last month, following months of failed negotiations to change contractual terms.
The four companies are reinvestment units of Taiwan Cogeneration Corp (台汽電), which is a Taipower subsidiary.
Over the past three months, the Bureau of Energy has convened several rounds of meetings between Taipower and the four IPPs over their purchase agreements. However, the IPPs rejected Taipower’s proposals, saying that changes in the terms of contracts might force them to commit breaches of trust and would need to be approved by their boards and shareholders.
Wu said the commission’s investigation would likely take up to six months to show results, which is three months longer than legislators’ original requests.