With the restart of the Taichung Power Plant’s No. 2 coal-fired electrical generator continuing to cause controversy, Taiwan Power Co (Taipower, 台電) chairman Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) yesterday called for a return to rule of law and professionalism, saying that he would take “personal responsibility” if the Taichung City Government insists on taking legal action against Taipower personnel.
The No. 2 generator is operating legally after the Environmental Protection Agency in February reversed sanctions imposed by the Taichung Environmental Protection Bureau, which in December last year revoked the operating licenses of the No. 2 and No. 3 generators at the Taichung Power Plant, Yang told a news conference yesterday in Taipei.
Taipower restarted the No. 2 generator on Wednesday night last week for testing. The Taichung City Government responded by issuing a fine of NT2 million (US$67,511) and demanded that the generator be shut down.
Photo: Huang Pei-chun, Taipei Times
The city government also said that it would fine the state-run utility NT$8 million to NT$20 million pending further investigation and file a lawsuit against key Taipower personnel if necessary.
In his 40 years as a bureaucrat, Yang said, he had never seen a local government invalidate a judgement made by the central government.
He said that he regretted the politicization of the power generator issue.
The city government’s possible legal action against Taipower personnel was unacceptable, Yang said, adding that he would cooperate with any investigation, as he considers protecting company staff part of his duty as chairman.
Taipower has followed the law to provide the electricity needed by Taiwanese, he said.
Providing a stable supply of electricity is no simple matter in the hot summer months, as demand can fluctuate wildly, Yang said, adding that Taipower must have a certain percentage of power generation capacity in reserve to guarantee an uninterrupted supply.
Citing the record-breaking consumption of 37.17 gigawatts on Wednesday last week, Yang said that it is necessary to bring the No. 2 and No. 3 generators back online to support peak usage next month and in August.
It is not the peak season for air pollution, so it is possible to bring coal-fired power plants back online while still ensuring good air quality, Yang added.
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