President orders safety checks on utilities after blackout

Taipei--President Tsai Ing-wen (???) on Wednesday apologized for an islandwide power outage Tuesday evening and said she has instructed government agencies to check major infrastructure and submit plans to bolster safety.

Six generators at the Tatan power plant in Taoyuan stopped producing power late Tuesday afternoon after their supply of natural gas was accidentally cut off for two minutes, causing a blackout that affected 6.68 million households around Taiwan.

Commenting on the power outage, Tsai said that although power was fully restored later Tuesday following emergency repairs, she still wanted to apologize for any inconvenience and uneasiness caused by the incident to everyone in the country.

Such an incident should not reoccur, she said.

The supply of power is not only related to people's livelihoods but also national security, Tsai said, and she argued that Tuesday's outage again showed how fragile Taiwan's power system is as it can be paralyzed by a natural disaster or human error.

"This is the core of the problem we should reflect on," Tsai said.

Tsai was referring to extremely tight electricity supplies in Taiwan last week, caused in part by the collapse of a transmission tower at the Ho-Ping Power Plant in Hualien County during Typhoon Nesat on July 29 that took 1.3 million kWs off the grid.

Electricity concerns were fueled again when an operational error by state-owned CPC Corp. (??) at 4:51 p.m. Tuesday caused power generation at the Tatan plant to be temporarily interrupted, leaving a total shortfall of 4.65 million kW nationwide.

Power wasn't fully restored until 9:40 p.m.

Tsai said she has asked relevant agencies to provide a report on the incident.

She also urged the government to strengthen checks on the nation's infrastructure and improve the management of major facilities to prevent the recurrence of similar incidents and ensure stable and secure power supplies.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel