Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen said on Tuesday railway and renewable energy projects under the government’s recently launched Forward-looking Infrastructure Program will help bolster Taiwan’s economic development by streamlining transportation links between major cities and fostering the development of green technologies.
Tsai made the comments while visiting two locations in northern Taiwan’s Taoyuan City set for significant investment under the FIP, a US$28.9 billion infrastructure initiative aimed at stimulating growth and driving industrial transformation.
Speaking at Huanbei Station of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport mass rapid transit line, which was officially launched March 2, Tsai said the government will establish a comprehensive, convenient and low-carbon rail network connecting Taoyuan with the northern cities of Taipei, New Taipei and Keelung.
Under the FIP, the government plans to extend the Airport MRT system to Taoyuan’s Zhongli District as well as launch construction on a new MRT line that will link central Taoyuan to the city’s Bade and Luzhu districts. The Taoyuan MRT will also connect to the Airport MRT at Kengkou Station.
According to Tsai, the Airport MRT and planned Taoyuan metro line are the most significant large-scale infrastructure projects implemented in the municipality for the past 30 years. These initiatives mark a major step forward in the city’s development and will enhance quality of life for residents over the next two decades, she added.
The president visited the same day proposed sites for floating solar panel systems at the Taoyuan Agriculture Expo Park. The government plans to install such arrays on more than 160 ponds in the municipality in the next three years with a combined power generation capacity of about 660 megawatts.
Tsai said that these projects, in conjunction with similar renewable energy initiatives nationwide, will help Taiwan achieve its goal of transitioning to a nuclear-free homeland by 2025. They are also expected to help attract significant private sector investment in the green energy sector, she added.
Unveiled March 23 by Premier Lin Chuan, the FIP outlines projects in five main areas: digital infrastructure, railways, renewable energy, urban-rural development and water resources. The program, which aims to address the nation’s infrastructure needs for the next three decades, is expected to add NT$975.9 billion to Taiwan’s real gross domestic product in eight years and create up to 50,000 new jobs.