Three of the four state-run enterprises under the supervision of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday reported net profits for the first half of the year, with Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) leading with net profit of NT$18.7 billion (US$667.93 million), while Taiwan Water Corp (台灣自來水) brought up the rear with net losses of NT$1.36 billion.
Taipower spokesman Chang Ting-shu (張廷舒) attributed the results to an annual increase in electricity consumption of 5.1 percent, far above what the company had anticipated.
Photo: Lin Jin-hua, Taipei Times
“The hot summer combined with people working from home and Taiwan’s increased industrial production led to a much higher use than we expected,” Chang said.
The Bureau of Energy had estimated that electricity use would increase 2.6 percent year-on-year, up from 2.1 percent last year.
Over the past 10 years, the average increase in electricity use was below 2 percent, the bureau said.
Yesterday’s peak electricity usage broke another record at 2:59pm, when power use reached 38.60 gigawatts.
The high electricity use, along with a relatively moderate energy price in Taiwan in the first half of the year, generated profit for Taipower, Chang said, but added that as global prices for coal, oil and natural gas have been rising, the second half of the year might be different.
“We need to keep a close eye on fuel prices,” Chang said, describing Taipower’s outlook for the second half of the year as “conservative.”
CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) reported net profit of NT$15.05 billion in the first six months, as the refiner benefited from strong demand for petroleum products.
RISING LNG PRICES
However, the surging price of liquefied natural gas (LNG) internationally has become “a burden” for the company.
In the past, the price of LNG would dip in the summer, affording CPC a profit, but in the first half of this year, CPC’s LNG unit accrued heavy losses, which “might get worse” as the year continues, it said.
Taiwan Sugar Co (Taisugar, 台糖) reported net profit of NT$685 million, but Taiwan Water was in the red due to a drought earlier this year, the ministry’s State-owned Enterprise Commission said.
As the drought affected farmers’ first and second rice harvests, Taiwan Water and the Water Resources Agency paid compensation of NT$1.22 billion each to the farmers, the commission said.
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