Taipower's accumulated losses top NT$100 billion

2017/07/16 16:52:38
CNA file photo

CNA file photo

Taipei, July 16 (CNA) Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) lost nearly NT$7.1 billion (US$234.54 million) in the first half of the year, pushing the accumulated losses of the state-run company to above NT$100 billion.

Several state-run companies performed well last year, with the combined pre-tax surplus of Taipower, CPC Corp. Taiwan, Taiwan Sugar Corp. Taiwan Water Corp. exceeding NT$80 billion.

Taipower posted the biggest gains of any of the state-run companies in 2016 with a surplus of NT$39.6 billion, but it was the only state-run enterprise to not report a profit in the first six months of 2017.

Its NT$24.7 billion surplus in the first half of 2016 turned into a NT$7.1 billion first-half loss in 2017 because of both weakened revenues and higher costs.

The utility said it lost nearly NT$10 billion in revenue in the first six months because of the 9.56 percent cut in electricity rates that took effect in April 2016.

On the cost side, the drop in Taipower's nuclear-power generation because of reactor shutdowns and maintenance forced the company to buy extra fuel oil and natural gas to make up for the power deficit, adding NT$12.87 billion in costs.

At the same time, the prices of oil, coal and gas in the first half of the year rose from the same period last year, further pushing up Taipower's costs by around NT$10.65 billion, the utility said.

Prior to 2017, Taipower had whittled down its accumulated deficit to around NT$90 billion after running surpluses of NT$14.15 billion in 2014, NT$61.78 billion in 2015 and NT$39.61 billion in 2016.

But similar to 2011 when Taipower issued NT$91.7 billion in corporate bonds to prop up its finances when the government froze electricity rates, Taipower has issued NT$43 billion in corporate bonds this year, again raising concerns about its financial situation.

Other state-run enterprises fared better in the first six months of 2017. CPC Corp. reported a pre-tax profit of NT$17.6 billion, Taiwan Water posted a pre-tax surplus of NT$576 million, and Taisugar had a pre-tax profit of 1.79 billion during the period.

(By Huang Li-yun and Lilian Wu)

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