Fri, Jun 08, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Ministry delays industrial electricity pricing strategy

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin speaks at the Taipei 5G Summit yesterday.

Photo: CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said it would suspend the launch of a new electricity pricing measure for heavy industrial users, as the nation’s power supply is expected to be stable for the rest of the year.

Instead, it would help companies draft contingency plans for emergency situations, such as the massive blackout that affected half of all households in Taiwan on Aug. 15 last year.

“The average operating reserve margin is forecast to reach between 5 and 6 percent [this year], or 2 gigawatts,” Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said.

However, companies should also develop plans to ensure manufacturing, Shen told reporters.

State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) previously said it would ask heavy industrial users who have contract capacity of more than 1,000 kilowatts (kW) to reduce electricity consumption by 5 percent when power reserves are less than 900,000kW.

The power supply is expected to increase this month, as the Atomic Energy Council has approved Taipower’s application to restart the second reactor at the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里).

The reactor, which is estimated to generate 985,000kW of electricity and contribute 2.7 percent of the operating reserve margin, is undergoing testing and would run at full capacity within a week at the earliest, a Taipower official said yesterday by telephone.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei on Wednesday in its annual Taiwan White Paper urged the government to provide a detailed power generation plan and ensure a stable supply, while Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) chairman Douglas Hsu (徐旭東) expressed concern over possible power shortages, given the relatively low reserve margin level.

The group’s plants might need to reduce production capacity if electricity supply tightens, Hsu told an annual shareholders’ meeting of U-Ming Marine Transport Corp (裕民航運).

The government should consider reactivating nuclear power plants to ensure a stable supply, he added.

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