Taiwan Power Corp’s (Taipower, 台電) budget for next year was inconsistent with an earlier government review of the state-run company, an opposition lawmaker said yesterday.
A task force organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) to improve Taipower’s management amid widespread public discontent with rising fuel and electricity prices stated in its initial report, released on June 29, that the company was able to cut the price that it paid for electricity it purchases from independent power producers (IPPs) by NT$5.15 billion (US$1.72 billion), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said.
However, the state-run company listed its purchase costs for next year at NT$156.86 billion, which would be an increase of NT$12.18 billion from NT$144.68 billion this year, he said.
The budget showed that electricity price per kilowatt hour Taipower purchased from cogeneration power stations, coal-fired power stations and gas-fired power stations would all increase next year, which makes it impossible for the company to reduce costs.
“The budget plan was a slap in the MOEA’s face because the ministry was forced to establish the task force after the public expressed anger at Taipower for the higher rates it pays for electricity from the IPPs,” Lee said.
Lee demanded the Executive Yuan withdraw and revamp Taipower’s budget plan and speed up the company’s renegotiation with the IPPs for reasonable rates of electricity purchase.
“It doesn’t make sense that global prices of coal and gas are falling, while Taipower’s purchase costs are increasing. And it doesn’t make sense that fuel prices are at an all-time high now when the MOEA said Taipower had cut costs,” Lee added.