Sat, 29 Apr 2000

PLN books net loss of Rp 11.3t this year

JAKARTA (JP): Cash-strapped state-owned electricity company PT PLN booked a net loss of Rp 11.3 trillion (US$1.4 billion) this year, up from Rp 9.5 trillion in 1998, PLN said on Friday.

PLN's revenue, however, rose to Rp 15.6 trillion from Rp 13.7 trillion last year, the company said.

PLN said soaring operation costs contributed to an increase in its operating losses this year, which stood at Rp 5.5 trillion compared to Rp 2.7 trillion last year.

Its operating costs jumped to Rp 21.5 trillion from Rp 16.8 trillion last year.

The company said fuel expenses reached Rp 9.69 trillion last year, slightly higher than Rp 9.4 trillion in the previous year.

However, expenditures for the purchase of power supplies jumped to Rp 5.08 trillion last year, from Rp 1.01 trillion in the previous year.

The economic crisis that hit Indonesia in mid-1997 following the sharp depreciation of the rupiah to the dollar, pushed PLN into severe financial difficulties.

The company sells power in rupiah, but pays most of its costs, including for the purchase of fuel and power supplies from independent power producers (IPPs), in dollars.

The state-owned company had signed power purchase agreements with 27 IPPs, some of which have started operation.

It is currently negotiating with the IPPs to reduce their power prices.

The government has allowed PLN to raise its selling price by an average of 29 percent in April this year.

Still, the company is expected to book a net loss of Rp 3 trillion this year. (bkm)