Taipei, Sept. 12 (CNA) State-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) reported Wednesday it recorded a profit of NT$3.9 billion (US$131.83 million) in August, the first time its monthly figures have been in the black for a long time.
Taipower Chairman Hwang Jung-chiou attributed the company's lack of profits over the summer to the lower-than-usual number of hot days and the public focus on energy conservation in the wake of electricity rate hikes in early June.
The company has estimated that it will record a profit of NT$1 billion in September.
According to Taipower's latest statistics, the company lost NT$74.2 billion in the first eight months of this year, and its accumulated losses have reached NT$192 billion.
It estimated that losses this year will reach NT$80 billion and accumulated losses will total more than NT$200 billion.
Amid calls for Taipower to delay the second stage of electricity rate hikes now that it has turned from red to black, Hwang said that it has no plan to suspend the rate hikes.
He noted that the price of international natural gas and coal fuel remains high.
This fact, coupled with the past policy of rate freezing, has resulted in huge losses for the company, so it will "go forward with the second-stage hike as scheduled," he said.
The government announced earlier this year that electricity rates for household, commercial and industrial power users were to go up by an average of 16.9 percent, 30 percent and 35 percent, respectively, on May 15.
Due to a public outcry, however, the initial one-time raise was changed to a three-stage hike, with the first 40 percent of the originally planned increase taking effect on June 10.
The next 40 percent increase will take effect on Dec. 10, and the remaining 20 percent increase will not take place until the company streamlines its operations to the government's satisfaction.
(By Lin Meng-ju and Lilian Wu)