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Tepco’s net loss projection snowballs to ¥120 billion for 2012

Kyodo

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said Monday it expects to record a ¥120 billion group net loss for the year ending in March instead of ¥45 billion as previously forecasted on expanding fuel costs for thermal power generation caused by the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

The operator of the atomic plant, crippled by a failure to protect against tsunami like those spawned by the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011 in northeastern Japan, now expects a bigger operating loss of ¥275 billion instead of ¥225 billion, on sales of ¥6.01 trillion, down from ¥6.03 trillion.

The announcement was made after the government decided to provide an additional ¥696.8 billion in taxpayer money to Tepco, as the company is known, to help it compensate those victimized by the world’s worst nuclear crisis since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.

The new infusion brings the total amount of redress aid given to Tepco to more than ¥3 trillion.

The decision was included in a revised version of Tepco’s 10-year restructuring plan, which was endorsed by the government last May in hopes of keeping the nation’s largest utility out of bankruptcy while it pays off its massive liabilities from the disaster.

Aside from money provided by a state-backed bailout fund to facilitate compensation payments, Tepco received a public capital injection of ¥1 trillion as part of the restructuring plan — a move that effectively nationalized it.

Tepco needs money not only to compensate people and companies affected by the disaster, but also to scrap the Fukushima No. 1 plant’s three crippled reactors and finance the spike in fuel costs caused by its unplanned return to thermal power.

Tepco plans to eventually repay the funds received from the Nuclear Damage Liability Facilitation Fund. It also promised to accept compensation claims over the disaster beyond the three-year deadline for seeking damages.