The Taichung City Government yesterday fined the Taichung Power Plant NT$20 million (US$647,962) for poor management of industrial wastewater.
The Taichung Environmental Protection Bureau gave the coal-fired plant until April 30 to come up with a proposal to ameliorate the situation, bureau Director-General Wu Chih-chao (吳志超) said in a statement posted on the city government’s Web site.
The plant, which is run by state-owned Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電), was fined in accordance with Section 40 of the Water Pollution Control Act (水污染防治法), Wu said.
It is the highest fine ever imposed on a state-owned enterprise, the statement said.
A test conducted on March 21 by the bureau found that wastewater from the plant’s No. 1 to No. 4 generators contained nitrate nitrogen levels that exceeded the allowable limit, Wu said.
Two other tests carried out earlier this year on generators No. 5 to No. 8 also turned up levels that exceeded the limit, he said.
Taipower in a statement said that high nitrate nitrogen levels were mainly caused by the plant’s focus on preventing air pollution, resulting in a lack of capacity to manage water pollution.
The utility said it respects the city government’s decision.
“We need to resolve the problem of wastewater first. We have yet to discuss whether to appeal the fine,” Taipower spokesman Hsu Tsao-hua (徐造華) told the Taipei Times by telephone.
The company must pay the fine by May 15, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister newspaper of the Taipei Times) reported, citing Taichung Information Bureau Director-General Wu Huang-sheng (吳皇昇).
To demonstrate its willingness to lower nitrate nitrogen levels in wastewater, the plant has halved the output of generators No. 1 to No. 4, Taipower said.
The plant has also readjusted an operating meter for flue gas desulfurization equipment to reduce the level of nitrogen oxides, it said, adding that round-the-clock supervision of the generators is being enforced to regulate the quantity of ammonia injection.
Generator No. 4 would be shut down to test equipment and improve wastewater management, Taipower said, adding that adjustments would be made to generator No. 3 to improve air pollution controls.
Taipower reiterated the importance of the plant, which it said plays a key role in ensuring a steady power supply for the nation.
The timing for the generators to return to normal generation levels would depend on wastewater conforming to regulations, it said.
The company said it hopes that improvements to the plant’s wastewater management could be made by early next month, as the nation’s electricity consumption is to greatly increase afterward.
It would maintain a low operating reserve margin of 6 percent over the next 10 days, as there have been no forecasts of abnormally hot weather, Taipower said, adding that and adjustments would be made according to the weather and electricity consumption.
STEADY: Prices are to rebound following inventory rebuilding demand, TrendForce said, with Samsung Electronics Co further trimming capacity as it slashes DDR4 lines The contract prices of DRAM chips are to rise by as much as 18 percent sequentially this quarter — the first price upticks in about eight quarters — driven mainly by inventory rebuilding demand for DRAM chips used in mobile devices and PCs, TrendForce Corp (集邦科技) projected yesterday. The price rebound is led by a quarterly increase of mobile DRAM chips, which are to climb between 13 percent and 18 percent quarter-on-quarter this quarter, which has not been seen since the fourth quarter of 2021, the Taipei-based market researcher predicted. Likewise, the price of mainstream PC DDR4 DRAM is expected to bounce
CHINA NOT A FRIEND: ‘Newsflash: Democracy is good for your businesses,’ US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said as she gave a speech at a national defense forum US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo on Saturday urged lawmakers, Silicon Valley and US allies to stop China from getting semiconductors and cutting-edge technologies key to national security. Speaking at an annual national defense forum in Simi Valley, California, Raimondo called Beijing “the biggest threat we’ve ever had” and stressed that “China is not our friend.” The world’s top two economies are locked in a fierce commercial and geopolitical rivalry, in which her department plays a leading role. In October, Raimondo unveiled a series of restrictions on the export of advanced chips to China, including those used in the development of artificial intelligence
A Hong Kong court postponed a court hearing on troubled Chinese property developer Evergrande Group’s (恆大集團) winding-up petition scheduled for yesterday until Jan. 29. Evergrande is trying to win support from its creditors for a plan to restructure more than US$300 billion in debt to stave off liquidation. The company’s lawyer told the court it was requesting an adjournment to “refine” its new debt restructuring plan. The Hong Kong High Court has postponed the hearing over Evergrande’s potential liquidation several times. Judge Linda Chan (陳靜芬) had said in October that yesterday’s hearing would be the last before a decision is handed down. Chan
SOLID FOUNDATION: Given its decades of expertise in megatronics, manufacturing and robotics, Japan has the wherewithal to create its own AI, Jensen Huang said Nvidia Corp plans to help build an artificial intelligence (AI) tech-related ecosystem in Japan to meet demand in a country eager to gain an edge in this emerging technology. The US company will seek to partner with Japanese research organizations, companies and start-ups to build factories for AI, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang (黃仁勳) said yesterday during opening remarks in a meeting with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Yasutoshi Nishimura. The company is to set up an AI research laboratory, and invest in local start-ups and educate the public on using AI, Huang said. Huang earlier this week met with Japanese Prime