Taipei, April 20 (CNA) The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) has requested state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) to build a new waste treatment facility for its coal-fired power plant in Taichung in two years, it said Saturday.
According to the Taichung City government, the plant is the largest single stationary source of air pollution in central Taiwan and has recently been found to have repeatedly discharged polluted wastewater.
Taipower has therefore been asked to increase the Taichung Power Plant's wastewater treatment capacity, with the project due for completion within two years, Deputy Economic Affairs Minister Tseng Wen-sheng (曾文生) said.
Before that, however, Taipower has serious short-term challenges.
Earlier this week, the city fined the coal-fired plant NT$20 million (US$647,962) for releasing polluted industrial wastewater and requested that it submit an improvement proposal within 30 days.
According to Tseng, Taipower will submit an improvement plan to the city by the end of this month.
Tseng said the ministry has asked Taipower to improve the quality of discharged wastewater and meet the city's environmental standards while still being able to maintain a stable power supply in the short-term.
He added that the state-run utility supplier will aim to meet Taichung's environmental standards by May.
The plant is a key supplier of electricity to the country, especially during the hot summer months, but to meet the city's wastewater standards and avoid future fines, it has suspended the operation of its third and fourth generators and cut the power generation of its first and second generators by 50 percent.
But faced with the need to maintain a stable supply of power during the peak summer demand period, Taipower wants to improve its wastewater treatment capacity in the short term to resume operation of the third and fourth generators at 25 percent capacity.