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Taipower seeking spot coal on concern China will halt exports

Taiwan Power Co., the island’s biggest electricity producer, plans to buy coal in the spot market because of concern China will stop exports, a company official said.

The utility issued a tender last week for about 1 million metric tons of coal and may buy more in the spot market, Chief Engineer Tu Yueh-yuan said by phone from Taipei yesterday.

Imports from China meet about 15 percent of the Taipei- based company’s coal demand, Tu said. China, the world’s biggest coal producer, last week ordered domestic shippers to halt exports during the week-long Lunar New Year holidays next month and the nation’s parliamentary meeting in March. The worst snowstorms in five decades have disrupted deliveries and output.

“What worries us is that China will stop coal exports in February and March,” Tu said. “If it happens, it will reduce coal supplies by 800,000 tons.”

Generators that run on the fuel accounted for 45 percent of Taiwan’s electricity production in December, according to Taiwan Power Web site. The government owns 97 percent of the utility, which produces about 75 percent of the electricity the island uses and monopolizes transmission in Taiwan.

China Post

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