JAPAN ATOMIC INDUSTRIAL FORUM, INC.

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5 February, 2018

Seven of Japan’s Ten Power Companies See Falling Profits Due to Higher Fuel Costs: Key Is Restarting NPPs

On January 31, Japan's ten major power companies announced their fiscal results for the first three quarters of fiscal 2017 (that is, from April to December 2017). Ordinary profits at seven of them declined year-on-year, the exceptions being the Hokuriku Electric Power Co., the Shikoku Electric Power Co., and the Okinawa Electric Power Co.

The rising prices of the fuels used in thermal power plants—specifically, crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG)—were the primary reason for the falling profits. Also having a negative effect on the companies' balance sheets was the loss of customers owing to the full deregulation of the retail power market in Japan, which took effect in April 2016. Nine of the power companies—all but the Kansai Electric Power Co. (Kansai EP)—experienced higher fuel costs, and for some, including the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), increases were on the order of twenty percent. Ordinary profit for the Hokkaido Electric Power Co. was halved, while that for the Chubu Electric Power Co. fell 26.2 percent. Ordinary profit for the Tohoku Electric Power Co. decreased by 18.2 percent, with that for TEP...more
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