State-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower) said Monday that it has taken steps to cut coal consumption at its Taichung power plant as part of efforts to help reduce pollution in the central Taiwanese city.
Out of the 10 coal-fired generators currently in operation at the plant, three have been put on suspension, while several others have also been cut back on power generation in an effort to combat pollution, according to Taipower.
The company said it expects the annual consumption of coal at the Taichung plant to fall below the 16 million ton per year cap mandated by the city government.
It said the suspension is only a short-term solution and that the long-term measure is to move forward and complete the installation of two additional natural gas turbines to generate power.
Once operational in 2024, the turbines are expected to help reduce pollution emitted by the plant by 60 percent-70 percent, Taipower said.
However, it noted that Taichung still tops all other Taiwanese cities in energy consumption, which has been the case for the past three years.
The state utility firm said it expects electricity consumption to increase significantly in the next few years, considering that Taichung is looking to attract more businesses to set up manufacturing bases in the city.
Taipower, meanwhile, also apologized for wastewater spills that its Taichung plant caused in a river estuary earlier this year, for which the company was fined NT$60 million (US$1.98 million) by the Taichung City government.
Concrete steps have been taken to resolve the wastewater pollution problem, the company said Monday, adding that a new wastewater treatment facility is being built at the plant, scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
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, according to the city government.