The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) on Monday approved an environmental impact assessment for two planned natural gas-fired generators, which are to be constructed at the Taichung Power Plant.
The generators are to have a combined installed capacity of 2.6 million kilowatts, said state-run Taiwan Power Co (Taipower), the plant’s operator.
The generators and related facilities are to be built on land already owned by the company, so as not to impact the environment, Taipower said.
The EPA reviewed the project three times from October 2018 to June last year.
In October last year, it was reviewed a fourth time, and on Monday it was discussed at an environmental impact assessment meeting attended by officials, energy experts and environmental advocates.
During the five-hour meeting, environmental groups criticized the plant for failing to reduce its number of coal-powered generators, saying that “without doing so, [the project] will be an expansion of the power plant.”
The Taichung plant has 10 coal-fired power generators, but plans to only use six of them after the two natural gas generators are activated, it said, adding that doing so would reduce its emissions of air pollutants by 64 to 72 percent.
Experts at the meeting said it would be a waste to burn natural gas to generate power, as gas is more effective when used in the form of liquefied natural gas.
However, natural gas resources are stable to operate, Deputy Minister of Economic Affairs Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) told the meeting, adding that when operating the two new units, tighter standards would be applied to regulate emissions of sulfur oxides and nitrogen oxides.
Tseng also promised stricter management of the plant’s existing coal-fired units, saying that the plant would only be allowed to operate more than six generators simultaneously for 240 hours per year, and that the power plant would not be allowed to operate more than 10 units (coal-fired and natural gas-fired) simultaneously.
It was unacceptable that the two units passed the environmental impact assessment, Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen (盧秀燕) said.
The Taichung City Government strongly objects to the ruling and has lodged a protest, she said.
The fossil fuel-dependent Taichung Power Plant, one of the largest of its kind in the world, was slapped with hefty fines last year for breaching regulations, including by using more coal than is permitted for the year and failing to cease using raw coal.
921 EARTHQUAKE: The magnitude 7.3 quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged The Central Weather Bureau yesterday received about 50,000 views on Facebook after it posted the data that it collected on Sept. 21, 1999, when the nation was devastated by a magnitude 7.3 earthquake. The data showed that the 921 Earthquake hit the nation at 1:47am, with the epicenter being 7km southwest of the bureau’s quake detection center in Nantou County’s Yuchi Township (魚池) at a depth of 8km. The quake left 2,456 people dead and 10,718 injured, while 53,661 houses were fully destroyed and 53,024 houses damaged, with the cost of the damage estimated at NT$300 billion (US$10.8 billion at the current
British newspaper The Mail on Sunday reported that Prince Charles met with Bruno Wang (汪家興), a Taiwanese fugitive who describes himself as a Chinese philanthropist and donated ￡500,000 (US$683,522) to the prince’s charity, the Prince’s Foundation. The newspaper reported that Wang is wanted in Taiwan on charges related to money laundering and being a fugitive from justice, allegations he denies, and drew comparisons between Wang and the Russian banker Dmitry Leus. Investigation and cooperation with foreign authorities have found that Bruno Wang’s father, Andrew Wang (汪傳浦), had stashed proceeds from a scandal involving the procurement of Lafayette frigates in 61 bank accounts,
AT ODDS: The KMT called on the government to seek bilateral dialogue with Beijing to resolve the issue that led to the ban on custard apple and wax apple imports Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and lawmakers yesterday condemned China’s sudden ban on imports of custard apples and wax apples from Taiwan as “obvious political retaliation,” while the opposition called for a scientific investigation into Beijing’s claim to have found pests in imports of the fruits. China earlier yesterday announced a ban on the importation of the two fruits from today, citing repeated discoveries of Planococcus minor, a type of mealybug. The announcement follows a similar ban on Taiwanese pineapples imposed in February. At least Beijing gave a few days’ notice when it banned pineapple imports, an unnamed government official said yesterday. This time
BY OTHER MEANS: China could see CPTPP membership as a means of circumventing trade restrictions imposed by the US, amid an ongoing trade dispute between them The US could invoke a clause in its trade agreement with Canada and Mexico to block China’s application to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a government official said yesterday. Under Article 32.10 of the Exceptions and General Provisions of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), if either Canada or Mexico enter a free-trade agreement with a nonmarket economy — such as China — the US could withdraw from the agreement. “If that clause applies to multilateral free-trade agreements such as the CPTPP — which Mexico and Canada are members of — that might be cause for the two