Electricity rates are to remain unchanged at an average of NT$2.6253 per kilowatt-hour over the next six months, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Friday.
The decision came after a meeting of its electricity price review committee on Friday, which considered maintaining stability of electricity prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The committee has not adjusted electricity rates since September 2018, making this the longest price freeze on record in Taiwan, ministry data showed.
While Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) suggested a slight rate increase of 0.07 percent, the committee decided to keep prices unchanged for the second and third quarters, the ministry said.
“Fuel costs are the main factor affecting electricity rates,” it said in a statement. “Recently, not only have international crude oil prices gradually rebounded, but coal prices have also risen.”
“However, it is still necessary to continue to monitor the containment of COVID-19 globally and the recovery of overall demand before determining whether the increase in fuel prices is a long-term trend,” it added.
The ministry said that the committee had pointed out that an adjustment to the nation’s energy structure would increase the cost of generating electricity, while electricity rates that adequately reflect the adjustment would help promote energy-saving policies.
The committee decided not to adjust the rates because, while the rate hike proposed by Taipower was not large, the administrative work required to enforce the increase could cost more than the 0.07 percent adjustment, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) told a news conference.
The committee would consider the effects of an adjustment to the nation’s power-generation structure on electricity rates at its next review meeting in September, when it would set the rates for the last quarter of this year and the first quarter of next year, Tseng said.
There is also no need to raise rates, as Taipower posted its first profit in five years in the first quarter, he said.
Taipower posted a profit of NT$8 billion (US$279.7 million) in the January-to-March period, thanks to lower power-generation costs, Tseng said, adding that the state-run company reported NT$26.1 billion in profit for the whole of last year.
Separately, the problem of a container vessel blocking the Suez Canal would not disrupt the nation’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports, the Bureau of Energy said on Friday.
The bureau said that Taiwan has signed long-term LNG contracts with several countries, including Australia, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Qatar and the US.
As LNG ships from those countries do not pass through the Suez Canal on their way to Taiwan, the incident would not affect the nation’s LNG imports, the bureau said.
“Last year, the nation’s LNG imports came from 13 countries, and the shipping routes from the sources differed,” the bureau said. “In the event of an emergency where imports are blocked, Taiwan can consult other long-term gas sources to procure and dispatch LNG.”
SOLID FOUNDATION: Given its decades of expertise in megatronics, manufacturing and robotics, Japan has the wherewithal to create its own AI, Jensen Huang said Nvidia Corp plans to help build an artificial intelligence (AI) tech-related ecosystem in Japan to meet demand in a country eager to gain an edge in this emerging technology. The US company will seek to partner with Japanese research organizations, companies and start-ups to build factories for AI, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said yesterday during opening remarks in a meeting with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura. The company is to set up an AI research laboratory, and invest in local start-ups and educate the public on using AI, Huang said. Huang earlier this week met with Japanese Prime
Huawei Technologies Co (華為) is among a field of “very formidable” competitors to Nvidia Corp in the race to produce the best artificial intelligence (AI) chips, Nvidia chief executive officer Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said yesterday. Huawei, Intel Corp and an expanding group of semiconductor start-ups pose a stiff challenge to Nvidia’s dominant position in the market for AI accelerators, Huang told reporters in Singapore. Shenzhen-based Huawei has grown into China’s chip tech champion and returned to the spotlight this year with an advanced made-in-China smartphone processor. “We have a lot of competitors, in China and outside China,” Huang said. “Most of our competitors
TAPPING TAIWAN? TSMC is committed to hiring locally, but circumstances might require the firm to bring in foreign workers with specialized experience, they said Arizona labor unions and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) have reached an agreement to resolve labor disputes that have dogged the chipmaker’s construction site in Phoenix, Arizona, they said in a joint statement. The new accord is the result of months of negotiations between the world’s leading chipmaker and the Arizona Building and Construction Trades Council (AZBTC), a coalition of unions with 3,000 members on site — about one-quarter of TSMC’s total construction workforce. Under the agreement, TSMC — which is investing US$40 billion in Arizona — plans to partner with unions to develop workforce training programs and maintain transparency on
Global semiconductor industry revenue is expected to grow 16.8 percent year-on-year next year, following a slump this year, largely fueled by a surge in demand for memory chips, US-based market information advisory firm Gartner Inc said on Monday. Gartner said the global semiconductor industry is forecast to generate US$624 billion in sales next year, up from US$534 billion this year, during which revenue is predicted to fall 10.9 percent amid inventory adjustments caused by weak demand. The global market for memory chips is expected to rebound next year by 66.3 percent, following a fall of 38.8 percent this year due to oversupply