Taiwan starts rotational electricity blackout after power plant outage

TAIPEI (REUTERS) – Taiwan started a rotational electricity blackout across the island on Thursday (May 13) after an outage at a coal-fired power plant in the south of the island, the government said.

The government said in a text alert it did not have enough electricity capacity in its grid after an outage at a power plant in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

Several cities across the island have reported blackouts, the official Central News Agency reported.

“The government has a grasp of the situation. Citizens please remain calm and there’s no need for panic,” Cabinet spokesman Lo Ping-cheng told reporters.

Mr Lo said all units were currently shut down in the island’s major Hsinta Power Plant in Kaohsiung after an “incident”. He did not provide details or say what had caused the outage.

The island’s electricity supplier Taipower said the outage was caused by a technical failure in the plant and that rotational blackouts would last until 4.40pm local time (4.40pm Singapore time).

A decision on whether to extend the rotational blackouts will be made later, it added.

Taiwan’s main international airport near capital Taipei and the high-speed rail line were operating as normal, the transport ministry said.

It was not immediately clear whether the power cut has affected important science parks in Taiwan, home to major chip firms.

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC) said that some facilities experienced a “brief power dip” in the afternoon after the islandwide power outage, but electricity is currently being supplied as normal.

“TSMC has taken emergency response measures and prepared generators to minimise potential impact,” it said in a statement.

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