Taipei, Sept. 21 (CNA) State-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) is evaluating a proposal regarding whether to spend NT$9.5 billion (US$302 million) to rent gas generators from Tokyo Electric Power Co, Holdings, Inc. for two years, with a final decision to be made by mid-October, Taipower President Chung Bin-li (鍾炳利) said Wednesday.
Chung made the comment in the wake of a proposal unveiled recently by Minister of Economic Affairs Lee Chih-kung (李世光) as a measure to stave off a power crisis has attracted criticism from the opposition People First Party (PFP) legislative caucus.
PFP caucus convener Lee Hung-chun (李鴻鈞) said that renting gas generators from Japan can only help offset a small portion of national electricity shortage after the first and second nuclear power plants are decommissioned in November and June next year, respectively, but it requires rental expenses as high as NT$9.5 billion for two years.
Also, PFP Legislator Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) said that the number can be translated into a rise of NT$413 in power prices for each power user per year.
In response, Chung said that Taipower is making a feasibility evaluation for the proposal to decide whether to rent or buy the generators.
However, Lee said that Taipower has previously said it had no plans to rent the generators from Japan because they are unfit for use. He said Taipower's explanation shows that the government does not take seriously the responsibility of managing taxpayers' money.
(By Wang Cheng-chung and Evelyn Kao)ENDITEM/J