Taichung power station

From Global Energy Monitor

Taichung power station (臺灣電力台中發電廠) is a 5,500-megawatt (MW) coal plant in Taiwan, one of the the top ten biggest coal plants in the world.

Location

The photo (map) below shows Units 1-8.

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Units 9-10 are located about 1 km to the west of Units 1-8. To the south of Units 9-10 is open land where further units could be located.

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Background

Taichung power station consists of ten 550 MW coal-burning units, making it the world's largest coal-fired power plant.[1]

Four original units were commissioned in 1991-1992. In 1996-1997, four additional units were added. The eight older units have a total estimated coal requirement of around 12 million tons of bituminous coal and 2.5 million tons of sub-bituminous coal a year. In June 2005 and June 2006, 550 MW sub-critical pressure units 9 and 10 were installed. Coal is received through the Taichung Port.[2]

Public opposition, fines, and closures

In November 2015, in response to public protests, Taipower and the local government agreed the plant would cut generation when particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution hit 71 micrograms per cubic meter at most of the 11 monitoring stations in the city. Taiwan Healthy Air Action Alliance argued the plant should cut generation three days ahead of predicted peak pollution days and demanded the utility switch to cleaner generation. In March 2016, the city government requested Taipower lower output at the plant when the index for PM2.5 hit “extremely high” levels.[3]

In November 2019, Taipower said three of the plant's units had been put on suspension, while several others had also cut back on power generation. The company said it expected the annual consumption of coal at the Taichung plant to fall below the 16 million ton per year cap mandated by the city government to limit pollution.[4]

In December 2019, the Taichung City Government revoked the operating permit for units 2 & 3 of the power station effective January 1, 2020, saying operation exceeded the city's coal consumption cap. In February 2020, the Taiwan Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nullified the city decision, saying it did not find evidence of violation. On June 24, 2020, Taipower restarted unit 2. City officials responded by suing the plant owner and threatening jail time, saying the EPA's decision had not yet been approved by the executive branch meaning the city's ban on the operation of units 2 and 3 were still in effect.[5]

In July 2020, unit 1 of the power station also resumed operation.[6]

In April 2021, Taipower once again said that it would contest a NT$20 million (US$ 703,556) fine imposed by the Taichung City Government for restarting unit 3 without obtaining prior approval. Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen defended the city’s decision to fine Taipower as “fighting for the health of Taichung residents.”[7]

Clean Air Taichung wants the plant closed by 2030, and NGO groups remain hopeful the government will embrace alternatives to the proposed additional gas units.[8]

Decommissioning plan adopted by Taiwanese parliament

In January 2021, the Parliament of Taiwan adopted a resolution to accelerate the decommissioning of the power plant. The ten 550 megawatt coal-fired units are to be retired by 2035 instead of 2046 as initially planned by Taipower. The subcritical coal units are to be preserved as a national security emergency reserve. Four gas-fired power plants are to be built on the site to replace the coal units, though a commissioning date for these new plants is unclear.[8]

In March 2021, Taichung Mayor Lu Shiow-yen demanded that instead of holding four coal-fired units in reserve after the two new gas-fired ones go into operation, Taipower should scrap the four coal-fired generators altogether.[9]

Description of Expansion

Taipower said there was an expansion plan to build two new 800 MW units at the power station by 2016,[10][11] later pushed to 2021.[12]

However, as of 2015, the proposed new units are not listed in Taipower's 2014 Annual Report,[13] nor on the company's list of projects under construction.[14] The expansion appears to be deferred or abandoned.

In February 2016, Cai Qichang, Vice President of the legislature, said that Units 11 and 12 will be natural gas generation and that Units 1-10 will be gradually retired.[15]

The construction of Taichung gas generating units was blocked by the Taichung City Urban Design Review Committee for 15 months, leading to slow progress on Taiwan’s "gas-to-coal" exchange. However, in June 2021, the Minister of Economy Wang Meihua said that the National Construction Agency determined that the station's expansion would not need to pass local reviews and should be underway as soon as possible so that the new gas units can be online by 2025 and 2026.[16]

Project Details for Taichung power station Expansion

  • Sponsor: Taipower
  • Parent company: Government of Taiwan
  • Location: Lung-Ching District, Taichung City
  • Coordinates: 24.2194242, 120.4731345 (exact)
  • Status: Now planned as gas-fired (2025-2026)
  • Gross Capacity:
    • Unit 11: 800 MW
    • Unit 12: 800 MW
  • Type: Ultra-supercritical
  • Projected in service:
  • Coal Type: Bituminous and sub-bituminous
  • Coal Source: Imported (Australia, USA, South Africa, Indonesia)
  • Source of financing:

Articles and resources

References

  1. "Coal-Fired Plants in Taiwan," Coal-fired power plants around the world, accessed January 2014
  2. "Taichung Coal-Fired Power Plant, Taiwan," Net Resources, power-technology.com, accessed July 10, 2009
  3. "As PM2.5 rises, plant cuts output," Taipei Times, March 7, 2016
  4. "Taiwan's Taipower takes steps to cut coal consumption at Taichung plant," Taiwan News, November 4, 2019
  5. [https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/ch/news/3954457 "連續稽查 台灣電力公司啟動中火2號機「燃煤發電」, 最高裁罰2千萬, June 27, 2020
  6. "Taipower Restarted No. 1 Coal Unit of Taichung Power Plant in Preparation for a New Record High in Summer Electricity Consumption," energytrend.com, July 21, 2020
  7. "Taipower to challenge fine for restarting generator," Taipei Times, April 8, 2021
  8. 8.0 8.1 Shih Hsiao-kuang, Chen Yun and Jonathan Chin, "Taichung coal power resolution passed," Taipei Times, January 30, 2021
  9. "Taichung, Taipower at odds over coal-fired units at power plant," Focus Taiwan, March 21, 2021
  10. "Coal-Fired Plants in Taiwan," Industcards.com, February 13, 2011, accessed June 3, 2014 (archived)
  11. "Taichung Power Plant- world’s largest coal fired power plant," Morganenergysol.com, January 16, 2013
  12. "'Giga' projects - the world's biggest thermal power plants," Power technology.com, November 27, 2013
  13. "Sustainability Reports - 台灣電力公司," Taiwan Power Company, 2014
  14. "Power construction projects," Taipower, accessed February 2015
  15. "台中空污紫爆 蔡其昌要求燃煤改天然氣發電," Liberty Times Net, February 26, 2016
  16. "中火案跳過都審 中市府:違法擴建民眾不能認同," United Daily, June 22, 2021

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