State-run Taipower favors increase in electricity fees


TAIPEI, Taiwan — The state-run Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) said yesterday that a hike in electricity fees is necessary to maintain its normal operations, although it added that the company has yet to submit a price adjustment package for government approval.

According to Taipower, the company would incur a loss of NT$155 billion (US$5.08 billion) in 2008 if it were to maintain its electricity fees at present levels. If the situation continues into 2009 without improvement, Taipower will post a deficit of NT$330 billion — half of its capital — which would force the public utility company to go bankrupt in 2010, it said.

Taipower needs to increase its electricity rates by 68.54 percent to offset the continued rising oil and coal prices on the global market, the company said, predicting that international fuel prices will continue to climb. Compared to 2006 global fuel prices, the price of diesel has surged by 49 percent this year and the price of natural gas has gone up by 42 percent, company officials said.