Mt. Datun near Taipei may be a source of geothermal green energy

CPC Chairman discussed the possibility of a new heat-propelled power plant in Taiwan

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Taiwan's CPC Chairman Tai Chein (戴謙) (By Central News Agency)

Taipei, Dec. 17 (CNA) -- State-run oil refiner CPC Co., Taiwan (CPC, 中油) is currently developing new techniques to directly extract geothermal heat from underground and plans to study the feasibility of these techniques on Mt. Datun, in suburban Taipei, next year, the company's new head has said.

"Technology can leap," said CPC Chairman Tai Chein (戴謙), who assumed the office last month, in an interview with CNA when asked about the company's response to the government's nuclear-free homeland policy, which aims to close all Taiwan's nuclear power plants by 2025.

Tai mentioned CPC's failed terrestrial heat exploration program in Yilan County, where the company drilled its first geothermal heat well in 1976.

Although that program led to the inauguration of Taiwan's first terrestrial heat-propelled power plant in 1981, inefficiency resulted in the closure of the plant in 1993.

Tai said that in the intervening period new technologies have been developed and advanced facilities established. Meanwhile, in accordance with the government's green energy policy, CPC has also resumed research into new technique that will allow the generation of electricity using geothermal heat drawn from wells without water.

Taiwan's research into geothermal heat was relatively superficial in the past, Tai said, but following the development of relevant technologies by other individuals or institutes, Taiwan may be able to extract heat energy from underground more efficiently.

Tai said that as part of the CPC's renewed research, the company plans to conduct a study of the Datun volcano group in northern Taiwan next year.