Fri, Oct 03, 2008 - Page 11 News List

Taipower may put off opening power plant until 2010

BLOOMBERG

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), the nation’s biggest electricity generator, will probably delay the startup of a nuclear plant for a fourth time after the former government ordered a suspension of the project’s construction.

The state-run utility may begin commercial operations at the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in the second half of 2010, compared with a previous target of July next year, Department of Nuclear Regulation director Chen Yi-bin (陳宜彬) said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Former president Chen Shui-bian’s (陳水扁) administration ordered Taipower to halt construction in 2000 because of opposition from residents. He reinstated the project in 2001 after the Council of Grand Justices ruled the decision was flawed as lawmakers were not consulted.

The change in the former government’s stand caused some contractors to run into difficulties getting bank loans, Chen Yi-bin said.

“Construction has not been proceeding smoothly,” he said.

The plant has two units, with a planned capacity of 2,700 megawatts, accounting for 6 percent of the nation’s installed capacity when completed.

Work was 89 percent complete for the plant’s first unit and 78 percent for the second unit as of the end of August, the Web site for the Atomic Energy Council in Taipei said.

The plant is expected to start generating electricity before the end of next year, while some tests will be needed before commercial operations, Tu Yueh-yuan (杜悅元), chief engineer at Taipower, said by telephone yesterday.

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