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Power supply may flash red after power plant malfunction

2017/08/05 22:45:23

CNA file photo

Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) The electricity supply in Taiwan is in danger of flashing red after another malfunction at Taichung Power Plant.

State-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) confirmed on Saturday that the No. 1 generator at the coal-fired plant is currently malfunctioning after a furnace pipe broke.

Taipower spokesman Lin Te-fu (林德福) said repair work is expected to take three days and the suspension has already cut the power supply by 530,000 kilowatts on Saturday.

The accident happened just one day after the No. 7 generator at the Taichung plant tripped because of low vacuity in the steam condenser system, cutting power supply by 500,000 kilowatts on Friday.

There have been concerns that the government may have to introduce power rationing since Typhoon Nesat and Tropical Storm Haitang brought down a transmission tower, operated by independent power producer Ho-Ping Power Co. in Hualien County, last weekend.

The incident reduced supply by 1.3 million kW, forcing the central government to take the unusual step on Monday of ordering public sector offices to switch off all air conditioners from 1 p.m-3 p.m. every workday for a two-week period.

The provisional measure was aimed at preventing the country from triggering a red light alert as result of inadequate power reserves, according to the Executive Yuan.

A red alert means that the operating reserves have dropped below 900,000 kW, while a black alert shows that reserves have fallen to less than 500,000 kW, at which point power rationing becomes necessary.

With the malfunctions, power reserves could fall to 730,000 kW on Monday, making the possibility of a red warning more likely.

(By Chen Cheng-wei and Christie Chen)