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Premier visits coal-fired power plant to alleviate public concerns

2018/03/18 21:01:29

Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德, third right)

Taipei, March 18 (CNA) Premier Lai Ching-te (賴清德) visited the coal-fired Linkou Power Plant in New Taipei Sunday in an attempt to ease public concerns over possible air quality degradation stemming from the government's decision to expand the Shen'ao coal-fired power plant, also in New Taipei.

"When coal-fired power generation is a necessity for Taiwan, the Linkou Power Plant, equipped with the most advanced generators and pollution control and abatement systems and burning the types of coal that have the fewest impurities is the model we look toward," Lai told reporters before touring the plant.

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) gave a green light March 14 to a request by state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) to expand the Shen'ao plant by installing two additional coal-burning generators with 600,000 kilowatts of capacity each, provoking a public outcry.

It was a preemptive move to prevent power shortages because stated plans to decommission the oil-fired Hsieh-ho Power Plant in Keelung as well as the No. 1 and No. 2 Nuclear Power Plants in New Taipei by 2024 will disrupt power supplies in northern Taiwan, Lai said.

Northern Taiwan will face a power supply shortfall of 6 percent by the time the said plants are shut down, a challenge that needs to be addressed now, he said.

Lai said that the generators at the Linkou plant have adopted ultra-supercritical technologies that are capable of generating energy with lower carbon emissions and increasing power generation efficiency.

These technologies, together with the use of types of coal that have the fewest impurities and the installation of pollution control and abatement systems, mean that the amount of carbon emissions put out by the Linkou plant has been significantly reduced to the level released by a power plant that burns natural gas, Lai said.

If need be, the Shen'ao plant can be equipped with two sets of pollution control and abatement systems, Lai said.

(By Lin Chang-shun and Shih Hsiu-chuan)
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