Taipei, Nov. 11 (CNA) The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said Sunday that all four coal-fired generators at the Hsinta Power Plant in Kaohsiung will be phased over the next six years and replaced with natural gas-powered units.
Responding to calls by protesters for cleaner air in the city, the EPA said two of the coal-fired generators at the plant are scheduled to be decommissioned in 2023, and the other two a year later.
Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), which operates the plant, has a plan to replace the No. 1 and 2 generators at the Hsinta plant with three natural gas units by 2023 and to close the No. 3 and 4 generators in 2024, according to the EPA.
In a statement issued in the wake of the protests in Kaohsiung on Sunday by several environmental groups, the EPA said efforts are also being made to reduce emissions from other industrial plants in the city.
For example, the EPA said, new technologies will be installed at the mixed-generation Talin Power Plant and at China Steel Corp. (CSC) to help cut back on emissions.
The protest, which was organized by a group named South Taiwan Air Clear, called on the city government to introduce regulations on coal-fired power plants and to limit the use of bituminous coal at petrochemical and steel factories.
The protesters called for the decommissioning of the Hsinta plant next year and a 20 percent reduction in coal consumption at the Talin plant, at CPC Corp's oil refinery, and at the CSC oil refinery, starting in 2019.
Taking issue with Taiwan's newly amended Air Pollution Control Act, the protesters called for the revocation of a clause on a carbon emission offset system that allows companies to register a reduction in emissions at one facility and offset their quota elsewhere.
Another issue raised by the protesters was CPC's plan to build a petrochemical plant in Kaohsiung through a joint venture with Japanese petrochemical company KH Neochem Co. Ltd.
In response, the EPA said it is up to the Kaohsiung City government to decide whether to approve the CPC project.
The EPA also said it will continue to seek consensus on revisions to the Air Pollution Control Act and will offer advice to help the Kaohsiung City government attain its annual goals for improving air quality.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel