Fri, Dec 08, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Taipower evaluates coal power

SOONER?Taipower said replacing coal-fired generators is based on where pollution is worst, but Legislator Lin Tai-hua said why reduce emissions in Kaohsiung but not Keelung

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday said it is evaluating whether to retire the coal-fired power generators at its Singda (興達) power plant in Kaohsiung earlier than scheduled, in an effort to ease air pollution in southern Taiwan.

“Our preliminary plan is to replace the coal-fired power generators with natural gas-fired generators to keep the power supply stable,” Taipower chairman Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) told a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the Legislative Yuan’s Economics Committee.

The Singda power plant has nine power generators — four are coal-fired while five are fueled by natural gas, Taipower said.

Two of the four coal-fired power generators — a combined installed capacity of 2.1 gigawatts (GW) — were scheduled to be retired in 2023, while the other two were to be replaced in 2026.

It is still too early to set a time frame for retiring the coal-fired generators, Yang said, adding that Taipower needs at least one month to evaluate the plan.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) on Thursday last week urged Taipower to replace the Singda power plant’s coal-fired generators soon, saying they contributed to Kaohsiung’s air pollution.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Tai-hua (林岱樺) welcomed Taipower’s plan for early retirement of the coal-fired generators, but criticized its decision to postpone the retirement of the coal-fired power generators at the Hsieh-ho (協和) Power Plant in Keelung, which has a combined installed capacity of 2GW.

Two of the four generators at the Keelung plant were supposed to be retired this year, but it was postponed to 2019, Taipower said.

“What difference will it make to reduce emissions from Kaohsiung while continuing to emit from Keelung?” Lin said.

The decision was based on how serious the air pollution situation is in various parts of Taiwan, Yang said, adding that southern Taiwan appears to be facing a more serious problem than northern Taiwan.

“We are not sacrificing the interests of people living in the north... We have the local government’s approval,” he said.

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