TAIPEI — The head of Taiwan’s state electricity supplier has resigned after a steep hike in utility rates prompted outrage, officials said.
Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) has lost TW$132.2 billion ($4.48 billion) in since 2008, according to the island’s economic ministry, and a 37 percent rise in electricity prices was meant to try to stem the cash outflow.
But the public questioned its legitimacy and the company’s operations, prompting the government to split the increase into three stages.
“Edward Chen has resigned as the Taipower chairman,” the economic ministry said in a brief statement texted to reporters late Saturday night.
“In order to push for Taipower’s reform, the ministry has in principle approved the resignation.”
Taiwan’s major opposition Democratic Progressive Party has said it will hold a mass protest against the hikes this month, with tens of thousands expected to attend.