Taipower Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday vowed to reduce coal use during “air pollution season” after the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) late on Tuesday rescinded the Taichung City Government’s sanctions on the state-run utility.
Citing Article 117 of the Administrative Procedure Act (行政程序法), the EPA overruled the city government’s decision last month to revoke Taipower’s operating licenses for two of its coal-fired generators at Taichung Power Plant (台中電廠) to reduce the city’s air pollution.
The city government basing the sanctions on a volatile set of rules was unlawful, the EPA said, adding that Taipower has not breached the city government’s coal use limit over the past year, contrary to Taichung’s claim.
As a result, Taipower can temporarily resume the use of its No. 2 and No. 3 generators at the facility until the Taichung Legal Affairs Bureau reaches a final decision.
“While we have not reactivated the two generators yet, as they need to undergo routine repairs … the EPA has given us the legroom that we desperately need,” Taipower chief engineer and spokesman Hsu Tsao-hua (徐造華) said by telephone, adding that the company can now better maintain its power reserve margin at more than 10 percent.
Taipower has yet to set a definitive timeline to restart the generators, which “would depend on other factors, including the current level of energy consumption, as well as the air quality,” Hsu said.
Taipower aims to lower coal use to 12.6 million tonnes this year, he said.
The utility plans to shut down three of 10 generators at the plant at the start of October, when air quality deteriorates as seasonal winds carrying pollutants from China sweep over Taiwan, he added.
“Moreover, the remaining seven generators would only function at the same level as six generators running at full capacity … translating into a 40 percent reduction in coal use,” Hsu said.
The company is also increasing its use of natural gas for energy generation, he said, pointing to a new gas-fired unit installed at the Tunghsiao Power Plant (通霄電廠) in Miaoli County.
“An additional 109 million kilowatts would be integrated into our power grid by May … just before the summer,” Hsu said.
Electricity from Taipower’s gas-fired generators last year surpassed that of coal-fired generators, company data showed.
INVENTORY DOUBLED: Key parts have backed up in warehouses, halting notebook production, as Acer’s CEO said that a gradual reopening would not solve the problem PC vendor Acer Inc (宏碁) yesterday said that lockdowns in China to control COVID-19 upended key component supply and disrupted PC production, although chip shortages have been improving. While chip supply constraints largely eased in the first quarter, the company faces uneven supplies of key components due to COVID-19 restrictions in China, Acer chairman and CEO Jason Chen (陳俊聖) told an online news conference. “Semiconductor shortage was the biggest problem in the first half of last year,” Chen said. “Now, we are beset by a supply chain issue caused by China's lockdowns.” With key components unable to be delivered and backing up in
MORE THAN BUZZ: The chip designer said it has received numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips, as it works to expand beyond smartphones MediaTek Inc (聯發科) yesterday said it would ship the first 5G chips for vehicles to customers in the Asia-Pacific region by the end of the year, as it moves to expand the reach of its 5G chips beyond smartphones. The Hsinchu-based chip designer said it has been developing 5G chips for connected vehicles over the past few years, targeting applications such as telematics and in-vehicle information systems. “We are seeing demand for 5G technology from numerous makers of connected cars, including electric vehicle makers. We have obtained numerous orders from automakers to supply 5G modem chips with highly integrated features,” J.C. Hsu
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技) yesterday said it would further expand capacity to cope with robust demand for e-paper displays used in e-readers, e-notes and electronic shelf labels, as the COVID-19 pandemic and rising inflation have not dampened consumer demand. Although rising inflation is weakening companies’ purchasing power, E Ink said that its customers have not scaled down orders for e-paper displays used in e-readers. “Reading is still the most affordable leisure activity that people have,” E Ink CEO Johnson Lee (李政昊) told an online investors’ conference in Taipei. As e-books are less expensive than paper books, “we have so far not seen
Covestro Taiwan Ltd (台灣科思創) yesterday launched a new research and development center that is to specialize in resin synthesis and fiberoptic coating after its parent company, Covestro AG, acquired a resins business from Royal DSM, it said. The German company in September 2020 agreed to buy the resins and functional materials business from Royal DSM for about 1.61 billion euros (US$1.69 billion), corporate data showed. The Dutch company’s local units, such as Covestro Resins (ROA) Ltd (帝昇) and Covestro Resins (Taiwan) Ltd (新力美), are next month to be integrated into Covestro Taiwan Ltd, with their employees continuing resins development, Covestro Taiwan said. The