Wed, Apr 24, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Taipower told to build wastewater treatment facility

POLLUTION:Its coal-fired power plant in Taichung was discovered to have repeatedly discharged untreated wastewater and was fined NT$20 million

Staff writer, with CNA

The Ministry of Economic Affairs has ordered state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) to build a new wastewater treatment facility for its coal-fired Taichung Power Plant in two years, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) said.

The plant is the largest single stationary source of air pollution in central Taiwan and has been found to have repeatedly discharged polluted wastewater.

The Taichung City Government last week fined the plant NT$20 million (US$648,130) for releasing polluted industrial wastewater and ordered it to submit a proposal to improve wastewater management within 30 days.

Taipower must submit such a plan to the city by the end of this month, Tseng said on Saturday last week.

In the meantime, the ministry asked Taipower to ensure stable power supply as the Taichung plant is a key supplier of electricity to the nation, especially during the hot summer months, he said.

The plant has suspended operation of its third and fourth generators, and cut the power generation of its first and second generators by 50 percent to meet the city’s wastewater standards and avoid fines.

However, faced with the need to maintain a stable supply of power during the peak summer demand period, Taipower wants to improve its wastewater treatment capacity in the short term to resume operation of the third and fourth generators at 25 percent capacity.

Taipower’s losses ballooned to nearly NT$17.3 billion in the first quarter of the year, from NT$12.5 billion in the same period last year, its financial statement released earlier this month showed.

The company attributed the losses to lower revenue and higher costs of oil, coal and gas, compared with a year earlier.

As summer electricity rates are to go into effect on June 1, Taipower said it expects higher revenue in the second quarter to help pare its losses.

Overall, the company’s accumulated losses totaled NT$121.6 billion as of March 31, the company said.

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