Power cuts may be im­ple­mented in May: MOEA

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOHN LIU

The on­go­ing wa­ter short­age has had an im­pact on the na­tion’s hy­dro­elec­tric and fos­sil-fuel power gen­er­a­tion, and as sev­eral power plants are set to per­form an­nual main­te­nance next month, the na­tion may need to brace for power cuts as early as May.

The an­nounce­ment was made by Wu Yu-chen ( ), deputy direc­tor- gen­eral of the Bureau of En­ergy, un­der the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs (MOEA). With the na­tional power grid’s op­er­at­ing re­serve ex­pected to dip to 3.3 per­cent in May, ro­ta­tional ra­tioning may be im­ple­mented in the month.

The op­er­at­ing re­serve is the gen­er­at­ing ca­pac­ity avail­able to meet short-term de­mand if a gen­er­a­tor goes down. The 3.3-per­cent is the low­est rate for Tai­wan in 10 years, ac­cord­ing to Tai­wan Power Com­pany (Taipower), the na­tion’s util­ity provider.

The op­er­at­ing re­serve may fur­ther plum­met to 1.7 per­cent if the First Nu­clear Power Plant, which cur­rently un­der­goes an­nual main­te­nance, is not put back on­line in time. The op­er­at­ing re­serve reached its low­est point of 8.9 per­cent in May last year.

In a press con­fer­ence held by the MOEA and Taipower yes­ter­day, Wu ex­plained that many power plants sched­uled their an­nual per­for­mance in May in prepa­ra­tion for the com­ing peak util­ity use sea­son in July, Au­gust and Septem­ber. The avail­able ca­pac­ity will be dras­ti­cally re­duced as a re­sult.

The Sec­ond Nu­clear Power Plant, The Taichung Power Plant, the Nanpu Power Plant, the Tatan Power Plant, and the Tungh­siao Power Plant are sched­uled for the an­nual main­te­nance, af­fect­ing power sup­ply by 3.31 mil­lion kilo­watts.

An­nual main­te­nance car­ried out by power plants is ex­pected to be fin­ished by June 15. The na­tion’s power sup­ply will get more juice by then.

The drought that is cur­rently trou­bling the na­tion will af­fect not only hy­dro­elec­tric plants, but also fos­sil-fuel power gen­er­a­tion, as lack of wa­ter can com­pro­mise power plants’ cool­ing down.

Still a Chance to Stave off Ra­tioning: Taipower boss

There is still a chance to stave off an elec­tric­ity ra­tioning, said Taipower deputy gen­eral manager Zhong Bing-li ( ). But it re­ally de­pends on util­ity al­lo­ca­tion, the ac­tual state of elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion, and power plants’ op­er­a­tion, he said.

When asked if a power out­age will oc­cur, Zhong said it de­pends on the state of util­ity use on a daily ba­sis. The gov­ern­ment has called on the public to con­serve elec­tric­ity in or­der to pre­vent a power out­age.

If util­ity

ra­tioning

is

im­ple- mented, industrial users that use more than 1,000 kilo­watts will be ad­vised to cut their power use by 5-15 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to Taipower’s web­site.

For av­er­age house­holds and industrial users that con­sume less than 1,000 kilo­watts, a ro­ta­tional 50-minute power cut may be car­ried out by Taipower. There will be no in­ter­rup­tion of ser­vices to crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture such as trans­porta­tion and na­tional de­fense.

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