Sat, Dec 02, 2000 - Page 17 News List

CPC to use state-owned land for new power plant

By Richard Dobson  /  STAFF REPORTER

The state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) will be able to sidestep land acquisition problems that plague other power projects in its plan to build a gas-fired power plant in northern Taiwan as most of the required property is already owned by the government.

Unlike other independent power producers in the north, the 480-megawatt Kuo Kuang Plant is unlikely to face problems acquiring land upon which to build gas pipelines to fuel the plant as it is to be built at CPC's Taoyuan Refinery -- the source of its LNG.

"We only need to run pipes ... a distance of 6.2km which is entirely within Taoyuan Refinery," said a CPC executive, who requested anonymity.

As for the transmission lines, "the distance between Kuo Kuang and Taiwan Power Co's (台電) nearest substation at Tinghu is only 4km and most of the land is owned by the state," said the executive.

Thus, as CPC is a state-run corporation, "We won't have many problems negotiating with the landowner," she said.

Acquisition of land upon which to build transmission and gas supply lines is the number one problem facing independent power producers building plants in densely populated northern Taiwan.

Recently Energy Commission (能源會) chief Chen Chao-yi (陳昭義) cited the land acquisition problem as why he had "no confidence" in the government's plan to make up the electricity deficit left by the cancelled nyclear plant by encouraging the construction of more privately-run power stations in the north.

A good example is the delay in full operation of the 900-megawatt Everpower Plant (長生) in Taoyuan by local opposition to the construction of transmission lines, prompting senior company executives to seek government intervention to resolve the contentious issue.

But the government has refused to issue the plant a building permit for the handful of remaining transmission towers until the company settles the dispute with the residents.

Construction of the Kuo Kuang Power Plant is expected to cost NT$12 billion, and will begin early next year, according to executives.

The plant is a joint venture between CPC, which owns 45 percent and CTCI Corp (中鼎工程) and Meiya Power Company which own 20 percent and 35 percent respectively.

A CPC execuitve admitted yesterday that Siemens AG is the "first priority on the table in negotiations for the supply of turbines" and other equipment for the plant. But the executive added that other companies including GE, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and ABB Alstom had also been approached to submit offers and that CPC had not yet reached a final decision.

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