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CPC must take full responsibility for power outage: premier

2017/08/21 16:37:42

Taipei, Aug. 21 (CNA) Premier Lin Chuan (林全) said Monday that state-run fuel supplier CPC Corp. Taiwan must be held fully responsible for last week's power outage, which involved a mistake occurring during CPC-contracted maintenance work.

CPC was responsible for supervising its contractor to make sure the work was done properly, and the Cabinet has launched an administrative investigation to examine CPC's operating errors, Lin said during a legislative hearing on the issue.

Also during the hearing, Acting Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said CPC failed to strictly comply with standard operating procedures, which he said is an area with room for improvement.

On Aug. 15, nearly 6 million households in 17 cities and counties across Taiwan were left without electricity after all six generators at the gas-fired Tatan Power Plant in Taoyuan shut down unexpectedly during the maintenance of a nearby CPC metering station.

The results of an investigation released by CPC on Aug. 18 determined human error to be the main cause of the incident, which occurred when an engineer from Lumax International Corp. (巨路國際), an electronics supplier contracted by CPC, was called in to replace two power supplies at the metering station.

Because the power system was not switched to manual mode before the replacement, two motor valves in the natural gas pipeline that feeds the power plant shut down automatically, cutting off the supply of natural gas to the plant's generators, according to CPC.

State-owned Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) has decided to deduct NT$34, which amounts to one day's electricity cost, from the electricity bills of each of the affected households as a form of compensation.

Lin said Taipower has adopted a compensation standard that is higher than that adopted in the past and by other countries because the outage was the result of human error.

He stressed that the power outage was not caused by a general shortage of electricity, and he expressed confidence that the government will be able to achieve the goal of phasing out nuclear power by 2025.

(By Justin Su and Y.F. Low)