Ban on coal, petroleum coke to im­pact power sup­ply: min­is­ter

The China Post - - LOCAL -

The plan by the gov­ern­ments of six coun­ties and cities in cen­tral and south­ern ar­eas of Tai­wan to ban the burning of bi­tu­mi­nous coal and petroleum coke at lo­cal fac­to­ries and power plants has sparked worry over a drop in power sup­ply and its ef­fect on the coun­try’s industrial devel­op­ment.

Min­is­ter of Eco­nomic Af­fairs John Deng ( ) warned dur­ing a hear­ing of the leg­isla­tive Eco­nomics Com­mit­tee on Wed­nes­day that if the burning of coal and pet­coke is pro­hib­ited coun­try­wide, both the industrial devel­op­ment and the out­put of power plants will be im­pacted.

He knows that “the lo­cals wish for clean air, but peo­ple should try harder to raise the en­vi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion stan­dards of up­stream in­dus­tries, in­stead of com­pletely ban­ning the use of what ev­ery­one needs.”

Ban­ning the burning of coal will greatly af­fect the power sup­ply by the coal-fired Taichung Power Plant, whose in­stalled ca­pac­ity ac­counts for 20 per­cent of the to­tal con­trolled by state-run Tai­wan Power Co. ( ), ac­cord­ing to Deng. The ban was ini­ti­ated by the Yun­lin County gov­ern­ment, backed by Chi­ayi City, Tainan City, Changhua County, Taichung City and Chi­ayi County, in an ef­fort to stem se­ri­ous pol­lu­tion lev­els caused by large quan­ti­ties of PM 2.5 par­tic­u­lates in the air, which are highly harm­ful to hu­man health.

Kuom­intang law­maker Huang Chao- shun ( ) asked the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to for­mu­late stricter air pol­lu­tion stan­dards be­cause “it is not un­rea­son­able at all for peo­ple to make such a de­mand.”

And it is bet­ter for the cen­tral gov­ern­ment to draft the law, she noted.

In the six coun­ties and cities that plan to ban the burning of coal and pet­coke with lo­cal reg­u­la­tions, the in­stalled ca­pac­ity of their com­bined coal- fired elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tors to­tals 11,051 megawatts (MW), ac­count­ing for 22.8 per­cent of the to­tal in­stalled ca­pac­ity of the coun­try.

It was es­ti­mated that the net peak power sup­ply ca­pac­ity of the gen­er­a­tors in the six coun­ties and cities was 10,388 MW, ac­count­ing for 25.8 per­cent of the na­tion­wide peak load.

Since the re­serve mar­gin has been low­ered to 14.7 per­cent in 2014, if the burning of coal and pet­coke is banned out­right, the coal-fired power plants and co­gen­er­a­tion power plants in cen­tral and south­ern Tai­wan would have to cease op­er­a­tions, lead­ing to a short­age of power sup­ply, the Bureau of En­ergy un­der the Min­istry of Eco­nomic Af­fairs said.

Such a ban will lead the coun­try into an im­me­di­ate power cri­sis with se­ri­ous out­ages and strict ra­tioning, the bureau warned.

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