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Taipower plans to build receiving station to cut costs
Central News Agency
2013-12-24 09:34 PM
Taipei, Dec. 24 (CNA) Taiwan Power Company (Taipower) is planning to build a third receiving station in an attempt to reduce its energy generation costs, Chu Wen-chen, president of the state-run company, said Tuesday. Chu noted that total costs of power generation have risen sharply as a result of increasing fuel prices, prompting Taipower to bring the plan forward. As of the end of November, Taipower had suffered a cumulative loss of NT$13.5 billion (US$449 million) for the year and its loss in December is estimated to reach NT$3.6 billion. If the cumulative loss of NT$193.1 billion it has incurred since 2003 is added, the total loss would reach NT$210.2 billion, Chu said, citing Taipower statistics. The cost of purchasing fuel for power generation accounts for nearly 70 percent of the company's annual electricity revenue of around NT$500 billion. The company spends approximately NT$50 billion-NT$60 billion per year to generate coal-fired power, while NT$300 billion is used to purchase natural gas from state-run oil refiner CPC Corp. Chu said that while the increased shale gas development in the United States will help bring down the price of natural gas, the fall in prices could be offset as a result of strong demand for natural gas in Japan, South Korea and China. According to Chu, construction of the third receiving station is estimated to cost about NT$60 billion-NT$70 billion and will allow the storage of 3 million-6 million metric tons of imported natural gas for the use of four natural gas power generators. However, it is expected to take at least 10 years to build the station and install peripheral equipment once an environmental impact assessment has been carried out. Meanwhile, Taipower Chairman Huang Jung-chiou said that since it is still uncertain when the Fourth Nuclear Power Plant will go into commercial operation and when aging generators at thermal power plants in Linkou will be decommissioned, the total amount of its base load power generation will drop from the current 42 percent of total power generation to 40 percent next year, creating opportunities to use natural gas for power generation in the future. The cost of power generation using natural gas is expected to increase by NT$0.12 per kilowatt hour next year as the result of increasing natural gas prices. This will increase Taipower's business operation pressure in the next two years, Huang added. (By Lin Meng-ju and Y.L. Kao)
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