Fri, Apr 29, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Hsing-yuan to build independent electricity plant

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Hsing-yuan Power Corp (星元電力) won the government's approval to build a NT$10.6 billion (US$337 million) gas-fired electricity generator, the first in five years for a so-called independent power plant.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs will issue a permit for Hsing-yuan to build a 490-megawatt plant in western Taiwan, the ministry said on its Web site yesterday. The last such permits were awarded in 2000.

"The Hsing-yuan project will help ensure steady power supply," Wang Yunn-ming (王運銘), deputy director-general of Bureau of Energy, said yesterday.

The government wants to boost generation capacity to maintain the nation's reserve margin, or the ratio of spare power generation capacity over peak demand, at 20 percent. As an independent power producer, Hsing-yuan will sell its electricity to state-controlled Taiwan Power Co (台電).

The nation's reserve margin will be around 20 percent this year, unchanged from last year, Wang said.

Hsing-yuan, a joint venture between Taiwan Cogeneration Corp (台灣汽電共生) and China Development Industrial Bank (中華開發銀行), plans to start construction in the third quarter, according to Henry Wu, vice president at Taiwan Cogeneration, which produces electricity and steam.

Hsing-yuan will buy natural gas from the state-owned Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) and is now seeking a supplier for power generating facilities, Wu said.

The new power plant is slated to start producing power in March 2009, according to Wu.

Taiwan has eight operating independent power plants, accounting for 21 percent of the nation's installed capacity as of last month.

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