[Photos by Park Hyung-ki]
South Korean energy-related public institutions, including Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) and Korea Gas Corp. (KOGAS), have seen their combined debt surge by about 70 trillion won ($53.1) last year mainly due to the significant losses incurred by KEPCO and its subsidiaries amid soaring energy prices.
According to data from Alio, a public institution business information open system, on Wednesday, the combined debt of 7 energy-related public corporations - KEPCO, its five power generation subsidiaries, and KOGAS - reached 287.3 trillion won at the end of December last year, up by 69.4 trillion won from a year ago.
KEPCO’s debt climbed 47 trillion won to 192.8 trillion won and KOGAS 17.5 trillion won to 52 trillion won.
The debt increase of the institutions last year was three times the 22.6 trillion won increase of the previous year. It surpassed by more than 65 times when compared to the 1.1 trillion won increase three years ago.
KEPCO’s debt was the largest at 192.8 trillion won at the end of December last year, followed by Korea Housing Finance Corp. (157.5 trillion won), Korea Land & Housing Corp. (146.6 trillion won), KOGAS (52 trillion won), and Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Co. (43.3 trillion won).
Among the top 10 institutions with high debt were Korea Expressway Corp. (35.8 trillion won), Korea Rail Network Authority (20.4 trillion won), Korea Railroad Corp. (20 trillion won), Korea National Oil Corp. (19.8 trillion won), and Korea Water Resources Corp. (12.4 trillion won).
The substantial increase in KEPCO’s debt can be attributed to the surge in global energy costs, combined with the fact that electricity rates in Korea did not increase accordingly, resulting in significant losses.
KEPCO recorded its largest-ever operating loss of 32.6 trillion won last year. The company’s operating profit of 4.1 trillion won in 2020 turned into a loss of 5.8 trillion won in the following year, and the loss widened to 32 trillion won last year.
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]