In response to the concern on the pollution of heavy metal and Dioxin, state-run Taiwan Power Company has pledged to minimize the problem by adopting the strictest control measures for the projected new Shenao coal-fired thermal power plant in northeastern Taiwan.
Taipower points out that it, for instance, will strictly control the mercury content of the coal fuel for the plant, even stricter than Isogo Thermal Power Station, also a coal-fired power plant, in Yokohama, adding that the plant's heavy-metal emission will meet not only Taiwan's national standards but the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) of the U.S. The company also dismisses concern for Dioxin emission, saying the toxin would be destroyed by the high temperature of the plant's boilers. It also pledges to step up communications with neighboring residents and carry out assessment of health hazards for them.
Taipower explains that its coal-purchase contracts for the plant specify that coal's mercury content cannot exceed 0.12 milligrams per kilo, lower than 0.15 milligrams of Isogo Thermal Power Station. In addition, the new Shenao plant will employ high-efficiency anti-air pollution equipment, including two sets of dust-removal equipment.
The company notes that hearth temperature of boilers in coal-fired power plants tops 1,330 Celsius, capable of destroying Dioxin effectively, citing the examples of Hsinta and Taichung coal-fired power plants, whose Dioxin emission is lower than the emission standard of 1.0 ng-TEQ/Nm3 by far.
Although heavy metal and Dioxin was not covered when the company made supplementary environmental impact assessment for the project in 2006, due to the absence of legal requirement, it will carry out simulated assessment for the emission of the two pollutants in the future.
Taipower stresses that the new Shenao power plant is critical in alleviating expected shortfall in power supply in northern Taiwan, as the first nuclear power plant and the second nuclear power plant will start the process of decommissioning from the end this year. For the sake of environmental protection and ecological conservation, the new Shenao power plant, in addition of shrinkage of the scale of development and generators, will employ high-efficiency supercritical generating units and invest one third of its budget in environmental-protection facilities, in the hope of cutting emission to a level comparable to that of natural gas-fired power plants.
With thermal power generation now accounting for 4.5-9.9% of the island's air pollution, it assures that the new power plant will not lead to deterioration of air quality in northern Taiwan.
(Information and first photo courtesy of Taipower)