Taiwan Looks To Replace Nuclear Power With LNG

Taiwan is buying more LNG for delivery over the next year as it closed a nuclear reactor and is set to phase out nuclear power generation by 2025. 

Taiwan’s CPC Corp bought via a tender this week at least 10 cargoes of LNG to be delivered between May this year and March next year, traders familiar with the deals told Bloomberg on Friday. 

The LNG purchases are also part of Taiwan’s strategy to procure more gas to offset the decline in nuclear power generation, according to the traders. 

This week, Unit 2 of Taiwan’s Kuosheng nuclear power plant was taken offline and will be decommissioned following the expiry of its 40-year operating license. There are now two remaining nuclear reactors operating in Taiwan at the Maanshan nuclear power plant. Those reactors are expected to be shut down in 2024 and 2025.   

Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party, elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2020, has a policy of phasing out nuclear generation by 2025. 

While Taiwan proceeds with a nuclear power phase-out, other countries are rethinking their nuclear generation strategy after the Russian invasion of Ukraine sent oil, natural gas, and coal prices soaring and sparked energy security concerns. 

Even Japan is bringing back nuclear power as a key energy source. Japan, which had vowed to reduce nuclear power as a source of electricity in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, is now considering using nuclear power for longer. 

At the end of last year, the Japanese government confirmed a new nuclear energy policy, which the country had mostly abandoned since the Fukushima disaster in 2011.

A panel of experts under the Japanese Ministry of Industry decided late last year that Japan would allow the development of new nuclear reactors and allow available reactors to operate after the current limit of 60 years.