POWER UTILITY | Cesar Tordesillas, Japan

Tepco to invite thermal supply bids

Invitation to bid.

This will be announced by for the supply of 2,600 megawatts of thermal power.

Tepco will buy electricity from winning bidders for 10 years to 30 years, starting as early as June 2019, it said in a statement Monday. The utility will accept bids between early February and late May and select suppliers by the end of July.

This is part of its turnaround plan to cut costs.

The rule is expected to help Tepco reduce investment and generation costs, according to Noboru Yoneda, general manager of Tepco's power contracts.

Winners in the past three tenders offered prices that were as much as 40 percent lower than the maximum price set by Tepco, Yoneda said.

Yoneda said Tepco plans to buy electricity at less than ¥9.53 per kwh from suppliers. The price is based on Tepco's coal power generation cost.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which oversees energy companies, requires utilities to invite bids for thermal power to cut electricity prices under new guidelines released in September.

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