SEOUL, Oct 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The chief of state-run Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) on Thursday said the company will continue to seek a gradual rise in electricity prices based on production costs amid the lingering uncertainties in the energy market.
“The global electricity industry is facing an unprecedented crisis amid the insecurity in the supply of energy and the prolonged slump in the real economy,” Kim Dong-cheol, the president of KEPCO, said during an audit session held at the National Assembly.
“The protracted war between Russia and Ukraine, and the lingering production cut by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are leading to expanded volatility in the global fuel prices,” Kim added.
Kim also noted that KEPCO intends to seek a gradual rise in its electricity rates by taking such factors into consideration.
The plan comes in line with efforts to improve the firm’s financial health.
Last year, KEPCO suffered a record-high operating loss of 32.63 trillion won (US$24.1 billion), more than quadruple from a year earlier, as the government failed to raise the energy rates enough to cover soaring costs amid high inflation.
The company raised the electricity rates by 5.3 percent on-year for the second quarter, or 8 won per kilowatt hour (kWh), following a 13.1 won increase per kWh in the first quarter.
KEPCO has been calling for a 51.6 won rate increase this year.
Kim said the company will also make efforts to sell assets and cut welfare programs to further improve its health.