Taisugar’s new projects to focus on sustainability

By Natasha Li  /  Staff reporter

Tue, Sep 10, 2019 - Page 12

Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖) yesterday unveiled hog farm renovation plans and two other projects that embrace a circular economy business model, saying it aims to have renewable energy sources provide an installed capacity of 1.3 gigawatts by 2025.

“Most of the electricity would be generated by solar power,” Taisugar chairman Chen Chao-yih (陳昭義) told a news conference in Taipei.

“We would install solar panels on top of the renovated hog farms, in detention basins and on infertile land,” Chen said.

Taisugar has more than 500 hectares of infertile land suitable for solar farming, but the Council of Agriculture would need to approve its plans, Chen said.

Apart from solar energy, the renovated hog farms would also use pig slurry to provide renewable energy, said Wen Yuan-wen (溫元文), deputy chief executive officer of Taisugar’s livestock division.

“We would treat about 200 tonnes of hog waste per day, which would allow us to generate about 7,000 kilowatt-hours of power per day,” Wen said.

The state-run company said it spent NT$688 million (US$22 million) on its first hog farm in Pingtung County’s Changjhih Township (長治), which is currently being tested.

It is planning to renovate another 16 hog farms at an estimated cost of NT$10.7 billion over the next three years.

“We have been given the green light by local authorities for four hog farms in Yunlin County and Tainan,” Chen said, adding that another seven hog farms are still awaiting approval from the Pingtung County and Taichung governments.

Taisugar is also looking at incorporating environmentally friendly elements into its land development business.

It began work on a “circular village” last year near Tainan’s Shalun Smart Energy Science City (沙崙智慧綠能科學城).

The village is to house about 350 families, with accommodation ranging from studios to three-room apartments, said Chen Kuan-han (陳冠翰), deputy director of Taisugar’s Department of Land Development.

Furniture and appliances would be rented out to tenants, Chen Kuan-han said, adding that this would encourage the project’s suppliers to design products with a longer life cycle.

Taisugar also plans to recycle used oyster shells by turning them into calcium carbonate, which can be used in building materials.

It aims to provide an estimated 40,000 tonnes of calcium carbonate per year to local construction companies, the company said, adding that it is also working with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院) to make calcium supplements from oyster shells.