Mon, Oct 10, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Natural gas generating capacity to grow 67% by 2030

Staff Writer, with CNA

Taiwan’s natural gas generating capacity will increase by about 67 percent by 2030 as part of the government’s policy to produce clean and low-carbon energy, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said on Saturday.

Installed capacity for natural gas generated power is expected to reach 15,000 megawatts this year, accounting for 35 percent of total power capacity, Shih said at a ceremony held by the state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) at Taichung Harbor to mark the 100th shipment of liquefied natural gas to the port.

“By 2030, the installed natural gas generating capacity will grow to 25,000 megawatts,” he said.

Shih spelled out Taiwan’s increased demand for clean energy in recent years amid a global campaign to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming, and touted natural gas as a way to achieve the goal.

Power generated by natural gas emits half the carbon emissions produced when coal is used to generate power, Shih said. To support the increased use of natural gas, the ministry has made sourcing, transporting and storing natural gas a top priority of its energy policy.

Shih said the government would seek to build more natural gas storage tanks and pipelines to transport the gas as part of its 30-year energy development plan.

According to Taipower, the company has obtained government approval for an NT$18.4 billion (US$603 million) plan to build three more liquefied natural gas storage tanks — each with a storage capacity of 160,000 kiloliters — at its Taichung liquefied natural gas receiving station in Taichung Harbor.

The construction of the facility is scheduled to be completed in 2018, Taipower said. By then, the Taichung station will be able to provide 5 million tonnes of natural gas to local power plants a year, up from 3 million tonnes at present, the company added.

Taipower currently owns two liquefied natural gas receiving stations, one in Kaohsiung and the other in Taichung. They are home to a total of three wharfs and nine storage tanks, with an accumulated storage capacity of 1.17 million kiloliters.

Taipower estimated that by the end of this year it would import 12 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas, making Taiwan the world’s fifth largest importer of the fossil fuel.

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