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Natural Gas

CPC’s promotes natural gas as the fuel of the future in keeping with Taiwan’s policy aim of energy diversification. It is based on its inherent advantages in terms of high thermal efficiency, low pollution profile and convenience for safe handling. A new era of clean energy for Taiwan was ushered in with the completion of the country’s first LNG receiving terminal in Kaohsiung’s Yongan District in 1990. To cope with growing demand, its capacity was later boosted to 4.5 million tons annually; and a second-phase expansion project was completed in December 1996. A third-phase expansion project to satisfy demand from independent power producers (IPP) as well as consumer and industrial end-users in northern Taiwan commenced in July 1996. In addition to terminal-area expansion, this involved laying a 36-inch diameter, 238 km long undersea pipeline from the Yongan plant to Tongxiao. Its completion in December 2002 expanded CPC’s annual LNG handling capacity to 7.44 million tons.



Building up Taiwan's natural gas production, transmission and storage infrastructure

Taiwan’s aforementioned second LNG receiving terminal is sited close to Taichung’s Port West Pier 13 and the hinterland. With the primary purpose of supplying natural gas to Taiwan Power Company’s (Taipower) industrial firms and household users in central and northern Taiwan, CPC built an annual LNG handling capacity of 3.0 million tons, three LNG storage tanks each of 160 thousand-kiloliter capacity; gasification and gas supply facilities; and a 135-kilometer, 36-inch sea long-distance gas transportation pipeline from Taichung Harbor through the Tongxiao distribution center to the Datan metering plant. This plan was launched on July 13, 2009. The recently-completed Taichung LNG Terminal Phase II Investment Project calls for the construction of three additional 160 thousand-kiloliter above-ground storage tanks plus another gasification facility at the terminal itself; a 26-inch, 21.8 km terrestrial gas pipeline between the terminal and the Wuxi Separation Station; and a further switching station linked to the existing 26-inch pipeline at the Wuxi site. The project will boost the annual LNG handling capacity of the Taichung terminal to over 5.0 million tons and ensure a stable, dependable supply of natural gas during the winter’s often inclement monsoon period as well as-and partly because of-greater storage capacity in terms of the number of days’ supply of LNG on hand.

Further expansion of the Taichung LNG Terminal’s capacity is under way. Currently, Taiwan government policies for phasing out nuclear power plants and for reducing greenhouse gas emissions mandate a 50% share for natural gas in fueling Taiwan’s total electricity generation by 2025. To help reach this target, CPC will lease Wharves 11 and 12 and their associated facilities from the Port of Taichung to create the Taichung LNG Terminal’s second dedicated LNG-unloading wharf; and execution of its Phase III expansion module will add two 180 thousand-kiloliter above-ground storage tanks and their associated gasification plant. These projects are scheduled for completion in 2022 and 2026 respectively to improve the unloading energy and gas supply stability.

In order to comply with the "Capacity of Self-provided Storage Tanks for Natural Gas Production or Import Enterprises" revised on August 27, 2019, the requirements for increasing the number of storage tank capacity days and business inventory days year by year, CPC will get on with Taichung Receiving Terminal New Pier & Terminal Expansion exterior Taichung Harbor Investment Project (add four above-ground full-capacity LNG storage tanks of 180 thousand-kiloliter, gasification facilities and two LNG-unloading wharfs and other related facilities) after the completion of land reclamation of North Reclamation Area (III) and South Reclamation Area (IV)-2, and use the Nanti Rd.-crossing pipelines to connect to the existing plant area to support each other. It is expected that after the completion of the end of 2028, the overall equipment utilization rate can be reduced and the gas supply stability and safety can be improved.

CPC has constructed an extensive natural gas transmission and distribution system on Taiwan’s western side. It comprises approximately 2,1 thousand kms of terrestrial trunk pipeline, extending from Pingtung in the south to Keelung in the north; and which includes 8 supply centers, one transfer center and 50 distribution stations along its length. Current plans are centered on the goal of constructing interlocking ring-shaped networks to produce a figure-8 configuration; this will involve laying down a 238-kilometer undersea pipeline from the Yongan LNG Terminal to Tongxiao and a 500-kilometer terrestrial pipeline onwards from Yongan to Taoyuan. In addition, after the 36-inch undersea gas pipeline from the Taichung LNG plant to the Datan power station has come on stream, it will be linked with terrestrial pipelines in central and northern Taiwan to form another circular formation-thus completing the planned island-wide, integrated figure-8 natural gas transmission network.

Active expansion and assuring secure gas supply

Complying the government policies for phasing out nuclear power plants and creating an environmental-friendly, low carbon environment, CPC plans to set up four gas-fired generating units in Datan Power Station. To generate abundant energy for Datan Power Station, commodity sectors in the north and other customers of the power station, CPC plans to set up the third LNG terminal in Kuantang Industrial Centre, comprising reception facilities which can hold up to 3 million metric tons of import quantum, two LNG storage tanks each of 160 thousand-kiloliter capacity; gasification and gas supply facilities to connect with the existing gas supply system.

CPC’s Third LNG Terminal project got under way in 2016 and is currently scheduled to come on stream in October 2022. Otherwise CPC gets on with Third LNG Terminal phase II expansion project(planning to build six 180 thousand-kiloliter above-ground storage tanks, a second LNG-unloading wharf and gasification facilities) in Third LNG Terminal offshore reclamation areas. The overall project is expected to be completed by the end of 2030. At that point, with the three terminals-one in each of northern, central and southern Taiwan-supplying natural gas to users in their respective areas, there should be some reduction in the cost and risk of transmitting gas over long distances-in that figure-8 combined undersea and terrestrial gas pipeline network will enhance the safety and stability of gas supply through its transfer and backup functions. Completion of this third LNG receiving terminal project will enable CPC to construct and operate national level natural gas supply system that is fully-functional, stable and safe.

Global arrangement, stabilization of gas supply

CPC has devoted considerable effort to diversifying its LNG sources to ensure a reliably stable supply of natural gas for Taiwan. The source of imports includes the Middle East, the Asia-Pacific region, Russia, Australia, North America, Central and South America, Africa and Europe. The procurement comes from all over the world.

In addition to long-term LNG procurement contracts, CPC acquires yet more supplies through medium/short-term/spot transactions to achieve the goal of stable supply and decentralized gas supply. In 2020, CPC imported most of its LNG from Qatar, Papua New Guinea and Australia, with some coming from Russia.