Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) on Thursday reported a pretax loss of NT$67.2 billion (US$2.26 billion) for the first five months of the year, widening from a pretax loss of NT$46.9 billion in the first four months and compared with a pretax profit of NT$14.1 billion for the same period last year.
The state-run utility’s aggregate losses climbed to NT$105.7 billion as of the end of May, compared with accumulated losses of NT$38.4 billion as of May 31 last year, the company said on its Web site, citing soaring international energy prices.
The implementation of summer electricity rates, which took effect on June 1 and are to run until Sept. 30, is expected to make a slight contribution to the company’s bottom line for last month.
Photo: Tu Chien-jung, Taipei Times
Moreover, electricity rate increases of 8.4 percent on average, which took effect on Friday, would further help Taipower ease its financial pressure.
Taipower is expected to pay an extra NT$300 billion for fuel imports this year, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said on Monday last week, as it announced the new electricity rates, including a 15 percent increase for large industrial users, such as 22,000 firms that consume high-voltage or ultra-high-voltage electricity.
However, about 97 percent of users, including households, small businesses and several service sectors, would be spared the increases in view of inflationary pressure, the ministry said.
Taipower’s cost of power generation this year increased significantly compared with last year, as Russia in February started an invasion of Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt supply chains, boosting international coal and natural gas prices, acting chairman Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) said.
Asked whether Taipower’s pretax losses would this year exceed NT$100 billion, Tseng was quoted by the Chinese-language Commercial Times as saying on June 25 that it would depend on two factors: the increased electricity rates and the development of international fuel prices in the second half of the year.
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