Sunday, June 20, 2021

Taiwan, hit by power outage, aims to restore normal supply by evening

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Tech powerhouse Taiwan started phased blackouts islandwide on Thursday after an outage at a coal- and gas-fired power plant, as the government said it was working to resume normal supply by evening.

The world’s biggest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd, said some of its facilities suffered a “brief power dip”, but power had now been restored.

In a text message, the government said its grid did not have sufficient electricity capacity after the outage at the power plant in the southern port city of Kaohsiung.

Several cities reported blackouts, the official Central News Agency said, as a top official appealed for calm.

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

All units of the Hsinta power plant in Kaohsiung were shut after an “incident”, Lo added, but did not give details or say what caused the outage.

Utility Taipower said more than six million homes were hit by the outage, which it blamed on a technical failure at the power plant.

The blackouts will run in rotation until 4:40 p.m. (0840 GMT), it said, with a decision on any extensions to be made later.

The economic ministry said it was working to restore supply by evening. The main international airport near Taipei, the capital, and the high speed rail line were operating normally, the transport ministry said.

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