Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) yesterday continued to urge the Taichung City Government to approve new liquefied natural gas (LNG) generators to further the utility’s emissions-cutting plan of phasing out its coal-fired generators.
Taipower’s remarks came as the city government demanded that Taipower decommission four coal-fired plants before constructing the LNG generators, a timetable that the utility has rejected.
Taipower’s plan to build an LNG terminal and two generators in Taichung has been rejected seven times by the city government, the Chinese-language Liberty Times (sister paper of the Taipei Times), reported yesterday, citing an unnamed Taipower executive.
Photo courtesy of Taiwan Power Co
Taipower manager Chang Ting-shu (張廷抒) confirmed that Taipower “remains in talks” with the city government to obtain approval to begin construction of the generators.
“It is unreasonable for Taichung to ask for the old generators to be decommissioned before the new generators are built,” Chang said.
Construction would take “at least three years” for the generators, and “longer” for the terminal, which would ensure a steady supply of LNG to the generators.
“Compared with coal, LNG produces less pollution,” Chang said. “The sooner we switch to gas, the better the air quality will be.”
Unlike coal-fired power plants, LNG generators can be adjusted up or down relatively easily, which is to become increasingly important as Taiwan becomes more reliant on renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind, Chang said.
“A cloud in the sky or wind blowing in the wrong direction will affect how much electricity we get from renewables,” Chang said. “With LNG generators, we can more easily compensate for that volatility.”
Asked if Taipower intends to decommission the coal plants once the LNG generators are built, Chang said that they planned to keep the plants “on standby.”
“It is an insurance policy to ensure the stability of the system,” Chang said.
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