Tue, Jan 14, 2020 - Page 12 News List

Taipower to trim coal use at Taichung Power Plant

GROWING DEMAND:A spokesman for the state-run firm said that it would need to accommodate Taiwanese manufacturers that are moving production lines home

By Natasha Li  /  Staff reporter

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday said that it would reduce coal consumption at the Taichung Power Plant to 12.6 million tonnes by the end of this year, while aiming to provide a stable electricity supply for Taiwanese companies returning to invest in the country.

“We are currently setting the goal at 12.6 million tonnes [of coal] for the Taichung Power Plant this year, which is much lower than our original goal of 16 million tonnes last year,” Taipower spokesman Hsu Tsao-hua (徐造華) told reporters at a media luncheon.

Although the number is regarded as relatively easy to achieve, as the plant consumed 12.64 million tonnes of coal last year, Hsu said it could be a hard feat for the company as it seeks to increase electricity generation due to Taiwan’s increasingly hot summers.

Taipower would also need to accommodate growing electricity consumption from Taiwanese companies setting up production facilities nationwide, Taipower chairman Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) said.

“We need to be fully prepared, as we expect power consumption to peak between next year and 2022 based on data from the Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Bureau of Energy,” Yang said, adding that the company would increase the proportion of electricity generated by natural gas.

Last month, the Taichung City Government revoked the operating licenses for two of the Taichung Power Plant’s coal-fired generators, after accusing it of contributing to the city’s poor air quality.

“The shutdown of two of our generators has led to a decline of 1.3 percent to 1.5 percent in our power reserve margin, which we seek to keep above 10 percent,” Yang said, adding that the company has applied to appeal the Taichung City Government’s decision.

Meanwhile, Yang said that increases in energy consumption would mainly come from semiconductor firms such as Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (台積電).

The company would strive toward reaching the government’s goal of abolishing nuclear power by 2025 and increasing energy from renewable sources to 20 percent of all power generated, Yang said.

Renewable energy sources, including hydropower, solar power, biowaste, geothermal energy and offshore wind power, contributed to about 5.6 percent of the total power generated in Taiwan in the first 10 months of last year, Bureau of Energy data showed.

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