Electricity fare could drop by 1 cent: CEM

Big hotels, casinos could start paying more by the end of this year

The city’s sole electricity distributor expects the electricity tariff to go down in the fourth quarter of this year as the fuel price begins to stabilise.
The price of one kilowatt-hour of electricity could drop by one cent, said Iun Iok Meng, advisor to the Executive Committee of Companhia de Electricidade de Macau SA (CEM).
The fare for a unit of electricity is currently set at 0.45 cents of pataca (US$6 cents).
But Macau households and small- and medium-sized enterprises only pay 0.36 cents of patacas per unit now as the government subsidises the remaining 9 cents.
Mr Iun told the Chinese media on Tuesday that the lack of natural gas would not impose much pressure on the company this year, as the fuel price in the international market has remained constant.
The Office for the Development of the Energy Sector confirmed last week there would not be sufficient supply of natural gas to CEM for electricity generation.
This is despite the recent reopening of the natural gas pipeline from Hengqin Island after two years of suspension.
Most of the electricity consumed in Macau in the second quarter was imported from mainland China, accounting for 92.8 percent of the total, government data reveal.
Only 7.2 percent was produced by CEM here, most of it by diesel generators.
Mr Iun hopes the government will approve before the end of the year a new electricity tariff scheme, under which big users such as hotels and casino resorts pay more.
He expects this year’s electricity consumption to grow by just 2 percent to 3 percent this year, much slower than last year’s 9 percent.