January 17, 2012 / 6:26 AM / 7 years ago

RPT-Tokyo Elec to hike rates 17 pct on avg for corp users

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TOKYO, Jan 17 (Reuters) - Tokyo Electric Power said on Tuesday it will hike electricity rates for corporate customers by 17 percent on average, as it struggles with cleanup and compensation costs following the disaster at its Fukushima nuclear power plant last March.

The utility is also hobbled by the loss of power from other nuclear power facilities as public worries about safety prevent reactors from coming back on line after they are taken down for routine maintenance.

The company in a statement also gave examples of a larger increase of 18.1 percent for large corporate users and of 13.4 percent for small and mid-sized businesses based on “model cases”.

Tepco President Toshio Nishizawa said the rate hike calculation was based on the assumption that the utility’s Kashiwazaki Kariwa reactors in northwestern Japan would not restart in the financial year to March 2013.

“We are very sorry for our corporate customers,” Nishizawa told a news conference. “I would like for them to understand the situation at our company.” (Reporting by Yoko Kubota; Writing by Edmund Klamann; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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