CPC Corp, Taiwan’s (台灣中油) third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal project in Taoyuan would have “a minimal impact” on algal reefs and endangered marine species at the planned construction site, Minister of Economic Affairs Wang Mei-hua (王美花) said yesterday.
The terminal — to be built in the Guantang Industrial Park (觀塘工業區) on the coast of Datan Borough (大潭) in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) — is sorely needed to maintain stable power supply, Wang said.
Some environmentalists have argued that the terminal would damage algal reefs off Taoyuan.
Wang said that the footprint of the planned terminal has been reduced to 10 percent of the original plan proposed under the previous Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) administration and avoids some sensitive algal reefs.
“We have done our best to preserve the algal reefs, including positioning the entry terminal 1km from the shore,” Wang said.
The swift construction of the LNG terminal is essential to ensuring stable power supply, especially with the Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant shutting down six months earlier than expected due to a lack of storage space for used fuel rods, she said.
The nuclear power plant in New Taipei City’s Wanli District (萬里) has a license to operate until the end of this year, but according to the Atomic Energy Council, the pools where the used fuel rods are stored are “insufficient,” and the power plant would be working at 80 percent capacity before ceasing operations in June.
Describing the early shutdown as something that “cannot be helped,” Wang said the government is making up for the shortfall in electricity by accelerating efforts to switch to natural gas and renewable energy.
Wang was speaking at the inauguration of a rooftop solar system in New Taipei City’s Shulin Industrial Park (樹林產業專區), the largest rooftop solar system in the greater Taipei area.
She praised the system as a “great example” of rooftop solar development, which can reduce temperatures at factories while providing energy.
“We are encouraging more industrial users to install rooftop solar energy systems in northern Taiwan,” Wang said, adding that the north is lagging behind the south in solar installations.
“Our economy is growing well and we need stable growth in electricity supplies to support it,” she said.
Asked about a water shortage, Wang said that businesses should “assume the worst.”
“We can probably expect the 7 to 11 percent reduction in water consumption for industries to remain in place until the wet season begins in May or June,” she said.
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