Taipower head pans ‘untrustworthy’ power firms

By Camaron Kao, The China Post

The China Post–Taiwan Power Company (Taipower, 台灣電力公司) Chairman Huang Jung-chiou (黃重球) panned four independent power producers (IPPs) that signed contracts to resell electricity with Taipower as untrustworthy because of their unwillingness to renegotiate contracts. Huang said he will send his message to Kansai Electric Power Co. and Tokyo Electricity Power Company — who hold stakes in the four IPPs. The chairman also announced that in the future employees of Taipower cannot be chairmen of these four IPPs after they leave Taipower, to avoid public criticism.

According to former Premier Frank Hsieh (謝長廷), Taipower offered good deals for IPPs and Combined Heat and Power plants because Taipower personnel often went to these firms after they left Taipower. Thus, they had to prepare for their future when they served in Taipower. These four IPPs are bankrolled by Taiwan Cogeneration Corporation (Taiwan Cogen,台灣汽電共生股份有限公司). Taipower has a 28-percent share in Taiwan Cogen, but despite this connection, Taipower is still unsuccessful in terms of renegotiating the prices of reselling electricity. The contracts of reselling electricity to Taipower signed by the four IPPs were criticized as offering higher-than-reasonable reselling prices. According to Huang, Taipower has been demanding renegotiation of contracts with these IPPs. The state-run power supplier even changed the fuel prices stipulated in the contracts to reflect the rising costs of fuel born by IPPs under the arbitration convened by the Bureau of Energy, but Taipower’s demand to change the prices of reselling electricity was neglected by these private power companies.