Ho-Ping power plant back on service after damage repaired

Taipei-Two coal-fired generators at the Ho-Ping Power Plant in Hualien County, eastern Taiwan have both been switched on after one of the plant's transmission towers was toppled by Typhoon Nesat late last month, triggering a power shortage crisis in the country.

Thanks to the repair of the damaged facility, completed ahead of schedule, the plant is expected to run at full capacity of 1.3 million kilowatts per day on Monday, said the plant's owner, Taiwan Cement Corp. (????).

"The power plant will try to maintain a stable supply of electricity at full strength," a spokesman for the company said.

According to data on the official website of state-run Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), Ho-Ping's two generators re-connected to the national grid network on Sunday, with operations expected to reach full capacity the following day.

The return to service of the plant is expected to free Taiwan from the tense power supply crisis amid scorching summer weather. The supply shortage forced the Cabinet to order the public sector to switch off air conditioning systems from 1-3 p.m. every workday, starting July 31, to save power until the damaged pylon was repaired.

The controversial measure was lifted last Thursday after two new generators at other power plants were started up, saving the country from a power rationing threat.

Taiwan's electricity reserves were cut in a significant manner when a pylon operated by the independent power producer Ho-Ping Power Co. (????) was blown over by Typhoon Nesat on July 29.

The pylon's collapse reduced supply by 1.3 million kW, or about 4 percent of the country's operating reserves.

Taiwan Cement estimated that the typhoon-caused damage has led to a reduction of NT$320 million (US$10.55 million) in Ho-Ping Power's net profits.

Meanwhile, Vice Economics Minister Yang Wei-fuu (???) said that the country's power supply capacity could reach over 38 million kW on Monday.

"If all generators are maintained in prime condition, it is unlikely that we will see a red light flashing within the next one or two months," he said.

Under Taipower's five-color power consumption warning system, a green light means operating reserve margins are above 10 percent, a yellow light represents power reserves of between 6-10 percent, while an orange light indicates reserves below 6 percent.

A red alert means power reserves have dropped below 900,000 kW, while a black alert indicates that reserves have fallen to less than 500,000 kW, making power rationing necessary.

The red light flashed last Monday and Tuesday when the island was baked under high temperatures, the first time this year that Taiwan's power supply had encountered such a predicament.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel