Tuesday, February 27

Taiwan taking monthly energy, food inventories in case of China conflict

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TAIPEI — Taiwan has been taking monthly inventories of critical supplies like food and energy in case of a conflict with China, a government official said on Wednesday.

China, which claims democratically-ruled Taiwan as its own territory, mounted war games near the island in August following a visit to Taipei by US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that included firing missiles and steps to mount a blockade.

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Taiwan Deputy Economy Minister Chen Chern-chyi told reporters that it is already codified in law to maintain energy stockpiles, which state-run Taipower and state-owned refiner CPC Corp do.

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“With respect to a possible military conflict, we do have preparations for food and for energy and critical supplies including manufacturing supplies. We have a system, we do inventory every month,” Chen said.

“We want to ensure we have a certain period of stockpiles in Taiwan, including food, including critical supplies, minerals, chemicals and energy of course.”

Taiwan’s power mix is ​​made up of liquefied natural gas (LNG), coal, nuclear and renewables, the latter of which the government is trying to scale up.

“We remain very comfortable with respect to these possible energy security issues,” Chen added.

Resource-poor Taiwan aims to generate more electricity from LNG in the shift away from both coal-powered and nuclear plants, and is building a massive new LNG terminal off its northwestern coast.

Speaking separately at parliament where she was taking lawmaker questions, Economy Minister Wang Mei-hua said meetings have been taking place to discuss increasing LNG storage capacity.

“Certainly when it comes to LNG storage, we have previously already had cross-department discussions on this,” Wang said.

Those talks also involved whether to use Taiwan-flagged tankers to import LNG, she added. (Reporting by Ben Blanchard; Additional reporting by Jeanny Kao; Editing by Kim Coghill)