Taipower to Pay NT$ 4.9 Billion to General Electric for Settlement|核四封存爭議 台電判賠49億新台幣

Taiwan's state-owned Taipower Company had a legal dispute with U.S.-based General Electric after mothballing the No.4 Power Plant. The International Chamber of Commerce ruled that Taipower owes General Electric NT$ 4.9 billion in settlement. Many worry that the settlement could come out of the public's pocket. The Ministry of Economic Affairs says that Taipower has already earmarked a budget for the settlement and the payment will not be reflected in the public's electricity prices.

The central government announced, in April 2014, that it would mothball the No.4 Nuclear Plant. The state-owned Taiwan Power Company has since stopped the payment for the service and maintenance of its nuclear reactor, which was part of its contract with U.S.-based General Electric.

General Electric applied for an arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce. After three years, the chamber ruled that Taipower must pay General Electric NT$ 4.9 billion (US$ 158 million) in compensation. Many worry that the settlement could come out of the public's pocket.

Taipower must pay General Electric NT$ 4.9 billion as settlement. Will this affect the revenue of the company? The company has already earmarked the fund from its profit. Secondly, the settlement won't be reflected on the electricity price. It is extra expense and will is not a factor in future adjustment of electricity prices.

The Ministry of Economic Affair says that it will review the arbitration ruling, and lawyers from Taipower are reviewing the case as well. The ministry will decide later on whether it will make an appeal. Although the ministry has promised that the settlement will not be reflected on the electricity price, the ministry also recently said that a number of factors could affect the electricity price, which could see an increase of up to 30 percent in 2025, to an estimated NT$ 3.39 per kilowatt hour. Those factors include the adoption of natural gas power plants and the growing usage of renewable energy.

(The estimation) is a so-called maximum value. But it won't necessarily get there. The (electricity price) will gradually increase, it won't suddenly jump to a certain level.

Asked about air pollution and a possible reduction of power output from coal-fired plants, Shen Rong-jin says that the No.4 unit in Taichung Power Plant cannot be decommissioned for now since it has only been in service for 28 years.