By Ted Chen, The China Post
TAIPEI, Taiwan — A spokesperson at Taipower (台電) yesterday announced that as of the end of October, the company has accumulated NT$17.5 billion of losses in 2013. For the current year, Taipower stated that it is providing energy to the public at NT$2.88 per kilowatt hour, a figure unable to cover the state-run company’s own costs of NT$3.01 per kilowatt hour. For every kilowatt hour of energy provided, a loss of NT$0.22 is incurred, an improvement from last year’s per kilowatt hour loss of NT$0.32. Most notably, Taipower’s debt ratio has deteriorated to a new low, residing at a precarious 90.5 percent.
Losses for Taipower continued to mount despite recording modest profits of NT$628 million, NT$4.052 billion, NT$8.332 billion, and NT$5.408 billion in the four months the of summer peak-usage season beginning in June, during which the company received government approval to initiate price hikes.
Taipower’s total annual loss this year is expected to reach NT$22.3 billion.
To date the company has incurred total losses of NT$209.3 billion, representing 63 percent of the company’s contributed capital of NT$330 billion.
The company anticipates losses to continue swelling next year, and reach about NT$21.3 billion. Company officials explained that following the scheduled retirement of two coal burning power plants in Linkou next year, it will be required to utilize more costly means to maintain energy provisions.
Incidentally, the company stated that household and industrial energy use saw declines this year, representing an improvement in the nation’s carbon emission reduction efforts, but also a sign of tepid economic recovery.