Key Point of President's Regular Press Conference

Key Point of President's Regular Press Conference

February 2020 Regular Press Conference : President Katsuno's Message

February 26, 2020
Chubu Electric Power Co.,Inc.

  • I will be discussing the following matters today:
  • Board appointments
  • New action plan for emergencies and disasters

Board appointments

  • Firstly, let me talk about board appointments.
  • We revealed the appointments of our new Chairman and new President last week on the 19th. Today, I wish to announce board appointments as of April 1 and board appointments that take effect after the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders, scheduled for June.
  • Amidst dramatic changes in the business environment of the energy sector, Chubu Electric Power adopted the “internal company” system four years ago, having JERA and internal companies, i.e. Chubu Electric Power Grid Co., Inc. and Chubu Electric Miraiz Co., Inc., expand business autonomously to evolve into an even more powerful corporate group.
  • Two years ago, Chubu Electric Power compiled a management vision, envisaging the steady implementation of initiatives as an energy supplier and initiatives for creating new value, thereby laying the foundation for future growth.
  • Anticipating further acceleration of initiatives for fulfilling the management vision, we will have a new corporate leadership and embrace a new management structure as the Group shifts into a new business structure in April this year.
  • First of all, let me explain about board appointments dated April 1 for Chubu Electric Power Grid and Chubu Electric Miraiz.
  • Our Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer Yaoji Ichikawa, who also serves as the President of Chubu Electric Power’s Power Network Company, has been appointed as the President of Chubu Electric Power Grid.
  • Our Executive Officer Shinya Otani, who also serves as the head of the Business Strategy Office of Chubu Electric Power’s Customer Service & Sales Company, has been appointed as the President of Chubu Electric Miraiz.
  • Chubu Electric Power Grid and Chubu Electric Miraiz will also have two and one external directors respectively.
  • With these appointments, Chubu Electric Power Grid can secure neutrality and gain opinions and advice on appropriate and efficient facility formation and administration, while Chubu Electric Miraiz can receive opinions and advice on appropriate and efficient sales operations.
  • Next, there are board appointments for Chubu Electric Power as of April 1.
  • We will undergo restructuring, as previously announced in October last year.
  • Directors and senior managing executive officers will be assigned as the heads of new divisions and internal companies.
  • Among directors and senior managing executive officers, Yoshiro Hiraiwa, who is currently serving as a senior managing executive officer, will become the Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Corporate Planning & Strategy Division. Four people will newly become senior managing executive officers to serve as Company Presidents or Division General Managers.
  • In addition, those with extensive operational experiences and excellent leadership, management capability and strategic ability will be assigned to suitable positions, while younger employees with outstanding performance are also actively appointed to key positions.
  • Starting in April, Division General Managers and Company Presidents will be assigned to concurrently serve as directors in charge of each of five prefectures in the Chubu region.
  • Throughout our history, Chubu Electric Power has strived to provide stable energy supply with understanding and trust from local customers, local governments and other stakeholders in a large number of communities in our service territories.
  • We have worked on disaster prevention and emergency response activities with cooperation from everyone in local communities.
  • The latest business split will transform our business structure. Yet, Chubu Electric Power will assign directors of the operating holding company to take charge of each of local prefectures to establish firm partnership in the respective regions with Chubu Electric Power Grid and Chubu Electric Miraiz in an effort to meet the expectations of local customers much more than ever before.
  • Under the new business structure, the Chubu Electric Power Group will continue to meet customers’ expectations by “fulfilling its unflagging missions” and “creating new value” through the safe, affordable and stable delivery of high-quality energy, sourced in consideration for the global environment.
  • Next, I would like to share director candidates and auditor candidates, to be approved at the Annual General Meeting of Shareholders scheduled for June.
  • Given the rapid changes in the business environment, we have decided to reduce the number of board directors from 12 to 9 so that the Board of the operating holding company can engage in debates on a variety of issues in greater depth than ever before, agree on how the Group should respond swiftly and accurately and apply the policy throughout the Group.
  • New external director candidates will be unveiled at a later date.
  • The current external director, Naoko Nemoto, will leave the post in the shareholders’ meeting in June.
  • As for auditor candidates, Hiroshi Takada, a former Senior Managing Director of Toyota Motor Corp, has been chosen as a new external auditor candidate.
  • Takada has rich experiences as senior manager and extensive knowledge, having served not only as Toyota’s Senior Managing Director, but also as the head of Toyota Group’s marketing company and the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation.
  • The current external auditor, Nobuaki Kato, will step down.
  • Embracing the new management structure decided today, we will provide “stable energy supply” through appropriate collaboration of individual business operations and deliver a “new form of community” to “create value” at the same time, in an effort to evolve into a corporate group of even greater robustness.
  • Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.

New action plan for emergency response

  • Now, let me move on to the new action plan for emergency response.
  • Reflecting upon lessons learned in Typhoons No.21 and No.24 of 2018, Chubu Electric Power has drawn up an action plan to reinforce emergency response capability. The plan covers the mechanism of facility restoration, delivery of information to customers and collaboration with local governments.
  • Following last year’s Typhoon No.19, we have reviewed the action plan, while identifying issues that have newly manifested and exploring improvement measures.
  • Extensive damage Typhoon No.15 caused in Chiba Prefecture prompted the national government to re-examine current protocols. We have explored our response to the government’s findings and put it together as a new action plan.
  • Reviewing the past action plan has led to a certain level of improvement, e.g. sending support personnel from other branches or conducting patrols with drones to obtain an accurate outlook for service restoration, and using apps or social media to deliver information to customers swiftly.
  • As for information coordination with local governments, we believe there is room for improvement in the question of whether liaison personnel has been able to “coordinate information in appropriate timing and with appropriate contents” at their dispatch destinations. The roles of liaison personnel will be clearly defined before proceeding with action plan development in the future.
  • The accuracy of predicting facility damage will be further improved as a way of building a more suitable preliminary support structure.
  • Typhoon No.19 also caused river banks to burst, resulting in extensive flood damage.
  • In flooded communities, we provided detailed care to customers, organizing information sessions at evacuation centers concerning safe use of electricity, and dispatching workers to households for insulation measurement. Mobile substations were also used for early restoration of flooded Chubu Electric substations, which led to accumulation of various knowledge and know-how.
  • Sharing best practices with other parties including other electric utilities is believed to contribute to further reinforcement of corporate resilience.
  • Following the toppling of a power pylon in Chiba Prefecture last year, the government is examining the case and has instructed inspection of all similar structures. Chubu Electric Power is currently responding to this request.
  • The Chubu region has some 33,000 power pylons. We are in the process of checking patrol / inspection records of all of these pylons, and identifying those erected on terrain similar to that of the collapsed pylon.
  • Detailed simulation will be carried out on identified pylons, incorporating the effects of wind conditions and wind velocity. A repair program will be drawn up if any pylons are determined to require reinforcement.
  • Pylon repair might be time-consuming in some cases, e.g. cases requiring rebuilding or modifying an existing pylon. Taking pylon strength into account, we will explore and implement best options within the limited time leading up to the next typhoon season.
  • With the mentality that there is no end to emergency preparedness, we will strive to secure electric quality and reinforce resilience while also formulating emergency measures.
  • Today, COVID-19 infection is spreading nationwide, with persons confirmed to be infected identified even in our service territory.
  • Chubu Electric is making company-wide efforts to strengthen its risk-management structure. Other actions include urging employees to use the flex-time system for staggered commuting, recommending teleworking, cancelling unnecessary or non-urgent meetings and business trips, and cancelling facility tours and events.
  • Efforts are also made to examine the outbreak’s effect on securing materials and equipment so as to maintain stable power supply, examining parts-level supply chains and how reduced Chinese imports would affect them. The situation may prolong and must continue to be monitored closely.
  • In preparation for the declaration of pandemic or other unexpected developments, we are re-examining our business continuity program, e.g. securing personnel required for operation monitoring, repairing and inspection of company facilities.
  • Effective treatment has yet to be established for COVID-19. Containing the further spread of infection is the top-priority social challenge, and it is our corporate responsibility to facilitate this need.
  • To this end, if a severe case of COVID-19 is identified within our service territory, Chubu Electric will instruct high-risk employees with underlying conditions to work from home. If an employee or employee’s family member tests positive to COVID-19, other employees who work at the same business site will be instructed to work from home as much as possible. Work duties that require physical attendance shall be carried out at an alternative site, if available, or undertaken under sufficient ventilation and thorough disinfection for business continuation.
  • Each business sites are currently preparing such protocols on employees’ work attendance and work styles.
  • We will continue to monitor conditions in and outside Japan to make a swift and appropriate response when warranted, while the Chubu Electric Power Group unites in ensuring stable supply of electricity.
  • This ends my presentation.

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