, Taiwan

Taichung Power Plant fined $98,300 for exceeding coal consumption limit

It is expected to make improvements in 10 days unless one of its permits are revoked.

Taichung Power Plant, operated by state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), was fined $98,300 (NT$3m) by a city government for exceeding its yearly limit on coal consumption, Focus Taiwan reports.

According to Taichung mayor Lu Shiow-yen, the plant consumed 11.08 million tonnes of coal as of 27 November, well beyond the 11.04 million tonnes limit set by the city government. Lu said that the plant must “make some improvements” in 10 days unless they risk losing one or two of its permits to run its 10-coal-fired generators.

In response, Taipower spokesperson Hsu Tsao-hua said that he was at a loss to understand how to do this as it had already exceeded the limit.

Hsu also said that a permit issued in 2017 by former mayor Lin Chia-lung allowed the plant to burn up to 16 million tonnes of coal a year and reduce its consumption to 13 million tonnes in 2019.

After Lu from an opposition party was elected in 2018, a new limit of 11.04 million tonnes was set, based on public opinion that it was causing pollution in the city. This was decided on 20 September this year, and a notice of the change was sent to the plant one month later.

Economics minister Shen Jong-chin found the fine to be illegal, and Taipower would consider seeking legal recourse.

Lu and six local government leaders also issued a statement against a directive from the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) that would allow a 10% margin for the coal limits at the plant. Changhua county magistrate Wang Hui-mei, a signatory, questioned its necessity if there was no shortage of electricity as president Tsai Ing-wen insisted.

Photo by Luuva (Wikimedia Commons), originally from 阿爾特斯

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