23 Dec 2011

TEPCO to raise power prices

10:51 am on 23 December 2011

Tokyo Electric Power Company intends to raise electricity prices for corporate clients next April. The rise will be for the first in more than 30 years.

Tepco is also considering a proposal to raise prices for residential consumers, though it has not revealed by how much.

The company at the centre of Japan's worst nuclear disaster, faces almost $US100 billion in nuclear compensation claims.

According to estimates, the increase in prices for corporate clients would help TEPCO raise additional revenues of about 500 billion yen ($US6.4 billion).

TEPCO shares rose more than 5% on the news.

The earthquake and tsunami on 11 March this year resulted in 15 of its 17 nuclear reactors being shut down, cutting its power generation capacity.

As a result, the BBC reports the company has had to resort to thermal power stations which require natural gas, coal and oil to operate, resulting in an increase in its fuel costs.

TEPCO said it expected fuel costs to surge by more than $US10 billion in the year to March 2012. Tepco supplies about a third of Japan's electricity.