• Kyodo


Tokyo Electric Power Co. reported Wednesday a group net profit of ¥437.93 billion for the April-June quarter, but fuel costs for thermal power generation to make up for the loss of atomic energy due to the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant catastrophe that started in 2011 continued to weigh heavily on the utility.

The quarterly net profit compares with a loss of ¥288.39 billion incurred the year before, said the utility, which is struggling to turn its business around after receiving a ¥1 trillion capital injection from the government a year before.

Tepco registered an operating loss of ¥23.49 billion for the first quarter of fiscal 2013, which ends next March, compared with a loss of ¥108.84 billion a year earlier, with its revenue up 9.8 percent to ¥1.44 trillion.

The utility did not release an earnings outlook for the current fiscal year due to the difficulty in forecasting whether any of its idled reactors at its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture will be allowed to restart — a key measure to help Tepco curb its fuel costs.

Under a government-authorized 10-year restructuring dating from the April start of fiscal 2013, Tepco is projected to move into the black in the year through streamlining efforts, electricity rate hikes and by bringing back online its idled reactors.

With the July introduction of new nuclear plant safety regulations, some utilities other than Tepco have entered the process to have their reactors’ safety checked by the Nuclear Regulation Authority so the units can be restarted.

But Tepco has not yet been able to apply for such screening for its Kashiwazaki-Kariwa reactors amid opposition from Niigata Gov. Hirohiko Izumida.

Tepco says it would face additional fuel costs of ¥8 billion to ¥11 billion for every one-month delay in the resumption of a 1.1 million kw reactor at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa.

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