Taipower: More money to complete Lungmen

12 March 2009

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that an additional 40-50 million Taiwanese dollars were needed to complete the Lungmen plant. This should have read 40-50 billion Taiwanese dollars.

Additional funding of 40-50 billion Taiwanese dollars (US$1.16-1.45 billion) will be needed to get the two units at the country's fourth nuclear power plant ready to start up, Taiwan's legislature has been told.

Lungmen 1 turbine building (Taipower)
How the turbine building at Lungmen 1
looks at present (Image: Taipower)
Chen Kuei-ming, chairman of state utility Taipower, told the legislature that the money would be necessary to enable the units to begin operations in 2011 and 2012. The additional funding would bring the construction costs for the Lungmen plant to between 270-280 billion Taiwanese dollars (US$7.8-8.1 billion). Taiwan's minister of economic affairs Yiin Chii-ming has also recently commented that completion of the plant will probably take two more years.

Construction work began on the two 1350 MWe Advanced Boiling Water Reactors (ABWRs) at Lungmen, near Taipei, in 1999, with the first originally scheduled to enter commercial operation in 2006 and the second in 2007. GE was awarded a contract to supply the reactors, with Mitsubishi supplying the steam turbines and other contractors the rest of the plant.

Work on Lungmen was put on hold in 2000 after a cabinet decision to halt the project even though the reactors were two-thirds complete. The project restarted the following year after a legal appeal and a government resolution in favour of the plant, and is now reported to be progressing well.

Nuclear power has been a significant contributor to the energy mix on Taiwan's for over twenty years. Six nuclear units in operation at three power stations supply around 20% of electricity.