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Japan's TEPCO applies to raise home power prices by nearly 30%

Move follows 5 other electric utilities' application for 28-46% hikes

TEPCO wants to raise its power prices to households by nearly 30% from June. (Photo by Yo Inoue)

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings (TEPCO) has applied to the Japanese industry ministry to boost its power prices to households by nearly 30% from June due to soaring fuel procurement costs, the company said on Monday.

The move follows five other Japanese electric utilities which have already applied to raise prices by between 28% and 46% from April as the industry is squeezed by high costs of imported fuel, exacerbated by the weak yen against the U.S. dollar.

The ministry will examine details of the company's cost reduction measures and decide the actual price increase.

TEPCO also forecast it would fall into a net loss of 317 billion yen ($2.4 billion) for the year to March 31, against a 5.64 billion yen profit a year earlier, due to the surging prices of fossil fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and thermal coal, as well as local wholesale electricity prices.

TEPCO has also decided to provide a 300 billion yen capital to its power retail unit TEPCO Energy Partner as its financial health has deteriorated due to higher fuel procurement cost, it said.

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