The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday warned that electricity prices could soar by 40 percent if the country abandoned nuclear power as its major electricity source.
If the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s (新北市) Gongliao District (貢寮) is prevented from becoming operational, while the first and second nuclear power plants are retired, state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) would have to increase electricity rates sharply to cope with the high costs of generating power by using coal or natural gas, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said at the legislature, calling on lawmakers to be prepared for price increases when making decisions.
As nuclear power plants can generate electricity at a lower cost compared with thermal, wind or hydroelectric power farms and emit less CO2, it could be a better option to generate electricity, said Chai Fu-feng (蔡富豐), chief nuclear energy engineer in Taipower’s power generation department.
“It is understandable that there are safety concerns from the public, but the company has invested heavily in building safety systems to prevent accidents,” Chai said by telephone yesterday.
Chai said that Taipower has completed about 95 percent of the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant’s construction and about 63 percent of its equipment had begun test operations.
Asked by lawmakers when the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant could begin operating, Shih said Taipower will submit a timetable in the second half of this year.
Shih told lawmakers that the ministry plans to invest billions of dollars of its budget in the purchase of fuels for the new power plant’s reactors in the second half of this year.
That will be the last phase of Taipower’s investment in the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant, after investing a total of NT$283.8 billion (US$9.79 billion) over the past few years, Shih said.
Taipower plans to submit reports to the Atomic Energy Council for operation of the new power plant by June, Taipower chairman Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) said.
Alphabet Inc’s Google on Tuesday announced plans to buy a New York office building for US$2.1 billion, confirming its push into the US’ largest city despite the COVID-19 teleworking trend. This is the largest real-estate purchase in the US for an office building since the beginning of the global spread of COVID-19, the Wall Street Journal quoted Real Capital Analytics as saying. Google already rents the premises in Manhattan, which are located on the site of a former railroad terminal in the Hudson Square neighborhood. The Silicon Valley giant envisions a campus with a total surface area of 160,000m2 by mid-2023
‘CORE VALUES’: The contract chipmaker did not specify why the employees were dismissed, but media reports said they had leaked information about customer orders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) has fired seven of its employees for violating the company’s “core values,” the world’s largest contract chipmaker said yesterday. While the company did not disclose exactly why it fired the seven employees, local media reports earlier in the day said that the employees had leaked confidential information about customer orders. In a statement, the company said that it fired the seven at once, adding that it released an internal notice last week to inform the entire company of the move ahead of the four-day Mid-Autumn Festival holilday, which ended on Tuesday. TSMC said it fired the seven
MILD ADJUSTMENT: Two previous efforts failed to curtail mortgage financing, although the new measures should not affect property prices, the central bank governor said The central bank yesterday tightened credit controls for second-home mortgages in specific areas and purchases of plots of land, especially in industrial parks. However, the nation’s top monetary policymaker kept its policy rate at a record-low 1.125 percent for the sixth consecutive quarter, despite revising up its GDP growth forecast for this year from 5.08 percent to 5.75 percent. “Board members factored in economic uncertainty at home and around the world,” central bank Governor Yang Chin-long (楊金龍) said, adding that growing inflationary pressure was a temporary phenomenon induced by bad weather and a low base effect for oil prices. International fuel price increases
DOWNCYCLE: Most buyers are wary about placing new orders, and although the decline could also be as little as 3%, it would be the first drop since the start of the year The average selling price of DRAM chips next quarter is expected to decline by up to 8 percent quarter-on-quarter, with memory chips used in notebook computers and consumer electronics seeing the steepest decline due to excess inventory and a shortage of components, market researcher TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) said yesterday. That means the DRAM industry is entering a new downcycle after experiencing a boom for three quarters, the longest uptrend in the history of the industry. The Taipei-based researcher said it expects the balance between supply and demand to begin tilting toward a surplus in the final quarter of this year. Most DRAM