State-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday cut power generation by more than half at its coal-fired Singda Power Plant (興達) in Kaohsiung and the Taichung Power Plant, citing environmental concerns, as well as falling electricity consumption during the Lunar New Year holiday.
As industrial production and commercial activity across the nation slow to a halt during the long holiday, Taipower said that it would maintain lower power generation from the two plants throughout the period and take advantage of the lower demand to carry out routine inspections.
Total power consumption nationwide is expected to decline over the next few days to a minimum of 20.3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) by Sunday and would steadily rise to 23.3 million kWh as the holiday ends on Wednesday next week, it said.
Photo: Tsai Shu-yuan, Taipei Times
“We already halted two generators at the Singda Power Plant and cut power generation by nearly 60 percent for the remaining two generators at the plant,” a Taipower official surnamed Lin (林) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
Taipower has also shut down five generators at the Taichung Power Plant, which has been the topic of a heated debate between the state-run utility and the Taichung City Government, with another five generators running at about 65 percent capacity.
The Taichung plant might see another of its generators shut down today or in the following days depending on the level of electricity consumption, Lin said, adding that Taipower would nevertheless maintain its power reserve margin at more than 10 percent.
The city government on Tuesday accused the facility of being the main reason for the city’s air pollution.
The Environmental Protection Administration on Monday approved Taipower’s plan to build two new natural gas-fired generators at the plant.
Taipower plans to add the two units, which would have a combined installed capacity of 2.6 million kilowatts, and reserve four of the 10 coal-fired generators as backups.
The company has vowed to reactivate a maximum of two coal-fired units only in the most dire of situations.
Taipower posted pretax losses of NT$14.7 billion (US$489.9 million) for last year, mainly due to unadjusted electricity rates, which remained at about NT$2.62 per kilowatt-hour.
However, based on an estimated allocation of NT$41.2 billion from an energy price stabilization fund, Taipower is expected to register profit of NT$26.5 billion for last year, an 11.67 percent decline from profit of NT$30 billion in 2018.
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