• Kyodo

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Electricity suppliers in East Asia and the Western Pacific began a four-day conference here Tuesday to discuss liberalization of the electricity market and other topics.

The 14th Conference of the Electric Power Supply Industry has been organized by the Association of Electricity Supply Industry of East Asia and the Western Pacific, which brings together 50 electric power companies in 17 countries and regions. This year’s theme is “Competition and Cooperation in the New Electric Century.”

Rolf Bierhoff, honorary president of Eurelectic, said in a keynote speech that liberalization will trigger dramatic changes, transforming the electric power industry into a competitive market in which profit is a top priority.

Bierhoff cited examples from Europe, where some firms are pursuing ways to expand their supply networks worldwide, and others are diversifying into gas and waterworks businesses.

The biennial conference, the first to be held in Japan, is expected to draw 2,000 people.

Exhibitions showcasing the latest developments in power generation and information technology are also being held at the Fukuoka Dome with the participation of 137 firms, the organizers said. All of Japan’s power utilities, as well as many domestic manufacturers and trading firms, are participating.

The association brings together firms from Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, New Zealand and several other countries.

The Philippines, Polynesia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan and Thailand.

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