Wed, Aug 02, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Storms limit power supply; savings urged

LIGHTS OUTTaipower said it would increase rates for industry over the coming two weeks to encourage companies to conserve power that can be diverted to households

By Chen Wei-han  /  Staff reporter

The Cabinet has urged energy conservation during peak hours for the next two weeks after storms caused significant damage at a power facility, which could lead to supply shortages.

The collapse of a Ho-Ping Power Co transmission tower in Yilan County on Saturday caused by Typhoon Nesat and Tropical Storm Haitang has reduced electricity supply by 1.3 million kilowatts (kW), or about 4 percent of operating reserves, a significant loss for the nation’s already limited supply in summer.

Premier Lin Chuan (林全) asked industrial and household users to cut electricity usage for the next 15 days until the transmission tower is restored.

Taiwan Power Co (Taipower) is to raise industrial electricity rates during peak hours to reduce usage and divert supplies to general household and commercial users, Lin said.

“The current power supply is enough to scrape through, but there are many uncertainties because in summer, any power plant malfunction can cause a power shortage,” Lin said.

“This involves the government, private businesses and the public, and everyone is encouraged to help see the nation through the 15-day crisis period,” he said.

Air-conditioning in all government buildings is to be turned off between 1pm and 3pm daily for the next two weeks, and the public is urged to reduce power usage between 11am and 12pm and between 1pm and 2pm.

Meanwhile, Lin at the opening ceremony of the new headquarters of Nanya Technology Corp (南亞科技) — the nation’s biggest DRAM chip supplier — in New Taipei City, pledged to ease investment uncertainties by streamlining the environmental review process.

The lengthy environmental review process has been a concern for businesses making investment decisions. The Cabinet announced that all new development proposals backdated to May last year would be approved or rejected within three meetings, Lin said.

“No review should take six years without a definite result,” Lin said.

An environmental review panel in January ruled that three proposed expansion projects of the nation’s largest naphtha cracker in Yunlin County, operated by Formosa Plastics Group — the conglomerate that owns Nanya — had to be merged and undergo a new review process, despite projects going through a review process from between four and six years.

“The government is not worried about strict environmental requirements, but review uncertainties have to be minimized,” Lin said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs would create a point of contact for each investment project involving more than NT$500 million (US$16.53 million) to streamline administrative processes, Lin added.

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