Tue, Oct 09, 2018 - Page 12 News List

CPC renews vow to meet public’s hopes for third LNG terminal in Taoyuan

ENERGY TRANSITION:The terminal would reduce the burden on the nation’s LNG infrastructure and cut the transport distance of fuel to northern industrial hubs

By Ted Chen  /  Staff reporter

CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) yesterday reiterated its pledge to meet the public’s expectations after its proposal to build a third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Taoyuan narrowly passed an environmental impact assessment earlier in the day.

The state-run refiner said that it has cut the scale of the project from 232 hectares to 37 hectares to minimize its effects on the coastal algal and coral reefs near the site of the terminal in Taoyuan’s Kuantan Industrial Park (觀塘工業區).

The terminal’s industrial port would be off the coast, which would leave ocean currents undisturbed, CPC added.

A committee comprised of experts, members of conservation groups and environmental advocates would be formed, and given a budget to monitor the projects ecological effects, CPC chairman Tai Chein (戴謙) said, adding that he is willing to serve as a lifelong volunteer on the committee.

The project is strongly opposed by environmentalists who have called for the conservation of an endemic species of Crustose coralline algae on coastal reefs at the planned construction site.

However, CPC said the terminal is a crucial aspect of the nation’s transition toward renewable energy and a green economy.

The planned facility is expected to begin supplying fuel to Tatan Power Plant (大潭電廠) in January 2023 to meet the government’s goal of making cleaner gas power a bigger part of the nation’s energy source and cut reliance on more polluting coal-fired power plants.

Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) said that the facility would help ease the nation’s strained LNG infrastructure, which is operating at about 103 percent capacity.

Once online, the facility would bring down LNG capacity utilization to 87 percent and cut the transport distance of fuel to meet the energy demand from northern industrial hubs, Tseng said.

Despite receiving the green light from the environmental impact assessment committee, CPC must continue its mission to advance Taiwan’s energy transition, which has been progressing amid tremendous mistrust and scrutiny, he added.

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