Tokyo Electric Power Co., manager of the disaster-struck Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant is expecting to log a group pretax profit of ¥130 billion for the business year through March 2015, even without restarting the giant Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant or hiking rates again, sources familiar with the matter said Friday.
Tepco, as the utility is known, was effectively nationalized in the wake of the 2011 core meltdowns in Fukushima Prefecture. It is expected to post a profit in excess of ¥100 billion for the second year straight, thanks to cost-cutting efforts, a decline in crude oil prices, and reduced demand for power caused by cooler temperatures last summer, the sources said.
The last factor meant that Tepco needed to produce less electricity from thermal plants fueled by imported fossil fuels, which have soared in cost because of the Bank of Japan’s weakening of yen against the dollar.
According to the utility’s turnaround plan, pretax profit was initially projected to reach ¥167.7 billion this year if the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant on the cost of the Sea of Japan in Niigata Prefecture resumed operating in July.
In fiscal 2013 ended in March, Tepco posted a group net profit of ¥438.65 billion, reversing a ¥685.29 billion loss the previous year. It logged a group pretax profit of ¥101.42 billion against a loss of ¥326.96 billion the previous year.
All of Japan’s 48 commercial nuclear reactors, including those at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa complex, the world’s largest, are currently offline for new safety tests drafted in response to the Fukushima disaster.