August 18, 2017 / 3:35 AM / 2 years ago

Chief of Taiwan gas supplier CPC resigns after power blackout

People walk on a street during a massive power outage in Taipei, Taiwan August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer

TAIPEI (Reuters) - The chairman of Taiwan gas supplier CPC Corp resigned on Friday, three days after a power blackout hit businesses and homes across the island, affecting nearly seven million households.

The resignation of Chairman Chen Chin-te, announced at a company news conference, comes after the island’s minister for economics affairs, Chih-Kung Lee, stepped down.

Chen said the CPC Corp had investigated the blackout and shared findings with the government this week, pointing out directions for reform. Details of the findings could be made public later, Chen said.

Chen emphasised the company would need to work on ensuring routine protection and maintenance work was implemented according to plan.

“As so many people were impacted by this, I wanted to deeply express CPC Corp’s apologies to the people, and of course as chairman, I have to accept responsibility,” Chen said.

The power outage was caused by “structural problems” and human error involving the replacement of equipment, which ultimately affected the operations of a state-owned Taiwan Power Co power plant, state-owned gas supplier CPC Corp said this week.

The government said on Wednesday it was investigating the blackout on the heavily industrialized island amid sweltering heat. Officials said a task force would be set up to investigate the cause.

Tech companies reported little impact to operations, though some companies, such as ChipMOS Technologies, Advanced Semiconductor Engineering, and electronics manufacturer Foxconn, said they were affected.

Foxconn, formally known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, the world’s largest contract electronics manufacturer and a major Apple supplier, said it experienced a power outage at its Tucheng facilities, but had back-up generators on site, according to a statement sent to Reuters late on Thursday.

Reporting by Jess Macy Yu; Additional reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Robert Birsel

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