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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 August 22 - 28  > TEPCO makes easy money while raising power rates
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2012 August 22 - 28 [NUCLEAR CRISIS]

TEPCO makes easy money while raising power rates

August 28, 2012
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) is making profits through trading liquefied natural gas (LNG) while forcing an increase in power rates on the general public.

This was recently revealed by Japanese Communist Party House of Representatives member Yoshii Hidekatsu.

TEPCO, the operator of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, is to raise electricity charges for households from September under the pretext that fuel costs for thermal power generation is skyrocketing. Meanwhile, the utility is making huge profits through its affiliated company which deals in LNG to be used at thermal power stations.

TEPCO Trading Company, which is a TEPCO subsidiary, established Celt Inc. in January 2006 through a joint capital investment with Mitsubishi Corporation. Celt acquired the right to import LNG from Oman and has sold it to TEPCO and Mitsubishi.

Yoshii’s survey found that Celt sold LNG at 4 dollars per 1 million Btu (British thermal unit) to Mitsubishi, which resells LNG in the U.S. market, while selling it to TEPCO at 14.7 dollars in 2011. In 2012, Mitsubishi bought LNG from Celt for 2 dollars per 1 million Btu, while TEPCO paid 18 dollars. The price gap is 9 to 1. The high fuel costs are added to power rates and the general public is made to pay.

Concerning this issue, the economy ministry’s screening commission on electricity rates requested TEPCO to make efforts to negotiate with suppliers for lower fuel costs.

Celt’s representative director Koizumi Toshiaki is the manager of TEPCO’s fuel department, and served concurrently as a managing director of TEPCO Trading Co.
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