SEOUL, May 19 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk Yeol has accepted the state-run utility Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) chief's resignation to have him take responsibility for the firm's snowballing losses and financial woes, officials said Friday.
Last week, KEPCO President and CEO Cheong Seung-il tendered his resignation after his company logged a record-high operating loss of 32.63 trillion won (US$24.44 billion) last year, more than quadruple from a year earlier, due mainly to high global energy prices and limited hikes in electricity rates.
To address the financial difficulties, KEPCO put forth additional self-rescue measures that aim to save more than 25 trillion won over the next five years, including selling a major building in Seoul and freezing wages of ranking employees.
Yoon accepted the resignation on Thursday, and the company will be operated in an emergency management mode, according to government officials.
Cheong took office in May 2021, and his term was supposed to end in May 2024.
The government failed to raise electricity and gas bills enough to cover high energy import prices last year despite high costs amid high inflation and growing economic burdens on the people.
The government raised the electricity rates by 5.3 percent on-year for the second quarter, or 8 won per kilowatt hour (kWh), following a 13.1 won increase per kWh in the first quarter.
KEPCO has called for a 51.6 won rate increase this year in a report earlier submitted to the National Assembly.
During the first three months of this year, the company reported an operating loss of 6.17 trillion won.
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