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Taiwan building drone defenses for powerplants to deter Chinese attacks

CPC Corporation, Taipower plan to deploy drone jamming guns at facilities to intercept drones

(Taiwan Power Company photo)

(Taiwan Power Company photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) is directing power plants and liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants to deploy defenses against potential drone attacks from China.

On Jan. 5, Taiwan’s Economic Minister Wang Mei-hua (王美花) went to the Taichung Power Plant and CPC Corporation's Taiwan Taichung LNG plant to inspect the safety of these key infrastructure facilities and observed a demonstration of drone defenses, reported the Commercial Times. She expressed particular concern about the possibility of interference and damage inflicted by Chinese drones.

Wang inspected three major security aspects, including critical infrastructure operations, factory sites, and cybersecurity. She instructed power plants and natural gas facilities to enhance cybersecurity measures, access control, and other related protections to ensure smooth operations.

She also expressed concern about Chinese drones. Taipower and the CPC Corporation said they are planning to deploy drone jamming guns for each facility and that further purchases are pending.

The MOEA said in the event of a drone attack, the Port of Taichung would be the first line of detection and defense. However, the Taichung Power Plant and the Taichung LNG Terminal also need their own defense systems.

The main focus during Wang's tour on Jan. 5 was primarily on-site drills with anti-drone devices to disrupt and force intruding drones to crash, the MOEA said. However, it recognized that relying solely on anti-drone devices is not sufficient and said there are plans to establish a passive countermeasure system for preemptive defense.

As for cybersecurity protection, measures have been taken to isolate the operational technology (OT) for critical infrastructure from external network systems, preventing unauthorized access and control. With the ongoing trend of cyber attacks, the sectors of energy, petroleum, water, and electricity have experienced over five million attacks, according to the MOEA.

The MOEA said all of these attacks had been successfully thwarted, and there were no reports of abnormal incidents at any facilities.

The ministry emphasized that key infrastructure such as electricity, oil, natural gas, and water supply facilities have a significant impact on people's livelihoods and industries. Wang instructed Taipower and the CPC Corporation to prepare preventative measures for various types of physical and cybersecurity attacks.