CPC to proceed with Taoyuan project despite coral concerns

[Taiwan] CPC Corp. Taiwan acting Chairman Yang Wei-fuu (楊偉甫) said Wednesday that he was confident work on constructing a new natural gas processing plant in Taoyuan will be completed by 2023 as scheduled, if it passes an environmental impact assessment (EIA).

CPC Corp. plans to build a third natural gas receiving and storage plant on yet-to-be reclaimed land on a coastal industrial park in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District. The move is part of the government policy to phase out nuclear power generation by 2025, which involves raising the amount of energy generated from renewables to 20 percent.

However, the project has hit a bump in the road as concerns grow over the potential threat posed to algal reefs in the area.

An EIA report that looks at the algal reefs issue has been submitted to the Environmental Protection Administration for review.

If the project receives EPA approval before October and work starts in November, Yang said he expects it to be completed by 2023 as scheduled.

Yang noted that a massive power outage in Taiwan on Aug. 15 that left 6.68 million households in 17 counties and cities without power shows the country urgently needs a new natural gas processing plant.

The blackout was caused by human error involving the replacement of equipment at CPC Corp, which ultimately caused six generators of Tatan power plant owned by state-run Taiwan Power Co. to shut down.

Meanwhile, representatives from several environmental protection groups called a press conference on Wednesday to express their concerns over the project’s potential damaging effects on coastal reefs.

Taoyuan Local Union Director-general Pan Chong-cheng (潘忠政) called for further protection of the reefs adjacent to the industrial park, saying they are considered an important natural asset by domestic and international marine experts.

For instance, an article by Academia Sinica researcher Chaolun Allen Chen (陳昭倫) about endangered coral in the area has been accepted by the internationally prestigious journal Coral Reefs, according to Pan.

Meanwhile, Taoyuan City government urged the central government to come up with a consistent policy for the conservation of algal reefs.

 

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