July 18, 2022 [Taipei Times] – CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) on Friday held a groundbreaking ceremony for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage tank project in Taichung.
The project, part of the phase 3 expansion of CPC’s Taichung LNG receiving terminal, is scheduled to be completed in 2026 and should increase the company’s annual supply capability by up to 10 million tonnes at its Taichung plant.
After completion, the two 180-million-liter LNG storage tanks would give CPC the capacity to supply LNG to power generation facilities and industrial users in central and northern Taiwan, the state-run oil company said.
The ceremony was attended by CPC chairman Lee Shun-chin (李順欽) and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) Director Sandra Oudkirk.
Oudkirk said that the AIT supports Taiwan’s goal to transition from coal-fired power to cleaner energy, adding that US energy and tech companies would participate in achieving those goals.
US construction company Bechtel Corp is heading the project.
The Taichung LNG project is “the best example of US-Taiwan cooperation in the energy sector, and can be celebrated as an achievement under the US-Taiwan Technology, Trade and Investment Collaboration,” Oudkirk said.
Separately, CPC on Wednesday said it would repair corroded chambers being used in the construction of its LNG import terminal in Taoyuan.
The water-tight structures, called caissons, facilitated underwater construction in the harbor for an LNG project at Guantang Industrial Park (觀塘工業區) in the city’s Guanyin District (觀音).
Corrosion was observed on many of the 16 caissons, including spalling of the concrete and exposure of steel bars, CPC said in a statement.
The problems were caused by “forces of collision” while the caissons were being towed to the Taoyuan construction site, and later while they were being driven into the seabed, CPC said.
A coalition of environmental groups called the Rescue Datan’s Algal Reefs Alliance reported the corrosion, saying that the damage indicated that the compressive strength of the structures was below standard.
Exposure of the steel bars and portions of cement falling off the caissons could harm the ecosystem, the alliance said.
It called on CPC to replace the corroded caissons using an environmentally friendly construction method to ensure the safety of the LNG facilities and avoid damage to the seabed.
CPC denied that the caissons were of substandard quality, saying that they had been inspected after they were built by Pan Asia Corp (泛亞工程) and Hwang Chang General Contractor Co (皇昌營造) of Taiwan and Belgium-based Dredging International NV.
CPC also said that the caissons could be safely repaired rather than replaced.
A third party conducted an assessment of the compressive strength and concluded that their load-carrying capacity is above standard, CPC said.
The repairs are to be done in accordance with methods recommended by a third party and subject to further inspection by the Association of Hydraulic Engineers to ensure the caissons’ integrity, it said.
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