5 major utilities post net losses

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Five of Japan’s 10 major power utilities have reported consolidated net losses for the year through March as fuel costs jumped on soaring liquefied natural gas and coal prices.

Fuel cost increases are reflected in electricity rates months later under the country’s price adjustment system. With energy prices staying high, power companies remained unable to fully pass on the higher costs to consumers.

Chugoku Electric Power Co. posted a record net loss of ¥39.705 billion. Tohoku Electric Power Co., forced to halt some power plants by an earthquake in March, reported a net loss of ¥108.362 billion, its second-biggest loss.

Hokuriku Electric Power Co., Chubu Electric Power Co. and Shikoku Electric Power Co. also logged net losses.

The five utilities that did not incur red ink — Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., Kansai Electric Power Co., Kyushu Electric Power Co. and Okinawa Electric Power Co. — also saw their profits tumble.