10 May 2002 04:29 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (CNI)--Taiwan authorities are to stop supplying water to companies in Taoyuan and Panchiao counties, northern Taiwan, for 36 hours during weekends starting on 18 May, CNI was told on Monday.
The move is aimed at maintaining levels at the Shihmen Reservoir, the source of water for these counties, which is depleting rapidly. The two counties are the most seriously affected by Taiwan's ongoing drought.
Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) producer DuPont Far Eastern Petrochemicals operates in Taoyuan while Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) sources water for its refinery from Shihmen Reservoir.
Both companies said earlier they were prepared either to shut down some of their respective plants or cut their operating rates to deal with the worsening water shortage.
Areas such as Mailiao, Chiayi and Kaohsiung in the south of Taiwan will be not affected by the new rationing measure. There are a number of major chemical plants located in these areas.
An official from the Drought Disaster Relief Centre told CNI that the water supply will be cut off on Saturdays and resume on Sundays at noon so as to minimise the impact on companies which operate 24 hours a day.
He added meetings will be held on every Thursday to review the measure and decide how long weekend rationing will be in force.
The Taiwanese weather authorities have forecast seasonal rainfall in mid May.
The Taiwanese government will also introduce water rationing to the capital Taipei starting on 13 May, a move which will affect mostly households which use water from the Feitsui Reservoir.
The city will be divided into five zones with each zone having supplies suspended every fifth day.
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