Sat, Nov 17, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Plant in Taichung rated world's worst for carbon emission

By Meggie Lu  /  STAFF REPORTER

A Taichung power plant's excessive carbon emissions have put Taiwan in the international spotlight, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Union (TEPU) said on Wednesday, citing this month's issue of Nature magazine that said the Longjing Township (龍井) plant tops the carbon emission list of all power plants worldwide at 41.3 million tonnes per year.

The magazine used data provided by Carbon Monitoring for Action (CARMA), a database that lists carbon dioxide emissions for 50,000 power plants globally.

CARMA is funded by the Center for Global Development, a US nonprofit organization.

MAILIAO PLANT

"In addition to the Taichung power plant, southern Taiwan also has to put up with Mailiao's (麥寮) Sixth Naphtha Cracker in Yunlin County, which emitted 68 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2003 -- 27 percent of the nation's total emissions," TEPU chairwoman Hsu Kuang-jung (徐光蓉) said.

The Mailiao power plant was sixth in CARMA's carbon emission top 10, she said.

"With such high existing emission rates it is unthinkable that the government is still pushing for the construction of [CPC Corp, Taiwan's] Eighth Naphtha Cracker and [Formosa Plastic Group's] steel plant," she said.

"Although we are not part of the United Nations, such emissions will eventually draw international sanctions," she said. "It is time we started to contemplate how to live low-carbon lifestyles."

EPA RESPONSE

Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) Deputy Minister Chang Tzi-chin (張子敬) responded by saying: "We will investigate the efficiency of the plant and seek ways with Taiwan Power Company [Taipower] to improve the situation should we find it underperforming."

In response to the TEPU allegations, Taipower published a statement saying that instead of looking at the total emissions figure per single plant, emission intensity should be considered.

"Taiwan is a small place, therefore we need to utilize our space efficiently," the statement said. "The Taichung power plant is the largest in the world and provides 20 percent of the nation's electricity, so it emits a large amount of carbon."

"However, according to data published by CARMA, the plant in Taichung is doing well; it is emitting 0.92 kilograms of carbon dioxide per unit of electricity, much lower than the number for the rest of the nine power plants on the top-10 list," it said.

ALSO SEE: Study names Australians biggest climate polluters

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