Tue, Feb 24, 2009 - Page 12 News List

Taipower could cut fuel purchases by 7%

BLOOMBERG

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), Asia’s biggest importer of thermal coal, could cut purchases of the fuel by 7 percent this year as a recession saps electricity demand.

The state-run utility plans to buy 26.8 million tonnes of coal this year, lower than 28.68 million tonnes last year, the company said in a report.

The monopoly grid operator expects Taiwan’s electricity consumption to fall 2 percent this year following a 0.6 percent decline last year, chief engineer Tu Yueh-yuan (杜悅元) said by telephone yesterday.

Electricity use in Taiwan is falling as manufacturers cut consumption after receiving fewer orders for computer chips, mobile phones and chemicals.

The nation’s GDP will probably shrink 2.97 percent this year, after a record 8.36 percent drop in the fourth quarter, the statistics bureau said on Wednesday.

“Our fuel purchase plan is based on the latest GDP data,” Tu said.

Coal-fired generators provided 43 percent of Taiwan’s electricity last year, compared with 23 percent from natural gas-fueled plants and 20 percent from nuclear reactors, Taipower said. The country also gets electricity from hydropower and renewable sources such as wind.

Taipower bought 60 percent of its coal from Indonesia last year, 28 percent from Australia and 12 percent from China, the company said. The country doesn’t produce the fuel.

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