Three of the largest power-producing companies in China lost billions of yuan in Q3 2021, thanks to skyrocketing coal prices and a state-run pricing system that stopped them from pushing higher costs onto consumers, reports Caixin. Datang International Power Generation reported a net loss of RMB 1.6 billion yuan ($250 million) for Q3, compared with a profit of RMB 2.67 billion a year earlier. The company attributed the deterioration to a jump in operating costs caused by higher coal prices. Profit in the first half of the year fell 7.97% to RMB 1.63 billion.
Huadian Power International swung to a RMB 1.8 billion loss in the third quarter from a RMB 1.37 billion yuan profit a year earlier, while Huaneng Power International dropped RMB 3.5 billion into the red, reversing a net profit of nearly RMB 3.4 billion yuan for the same period last year.
Datang, Huadian, and Huaneng, along with China Energy Investment and State Power Investment, together account for around 44% of the country’s power generation capacity. The average price paid by power generators for thermal coal, the main fuel used to produce electricity in China, was 109% higher in the third quarter than the same period last year, and 32% higher than the second quarter.