Environmental clearance crucial for Kuokuang petchem project

20 July 2010 11:49  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS news)--Taiwan’s Kuokuang offshore petrochemical project is at risk of being scrapped if it fails to secure environmental clearance from the government, a source familiar with the issue said on Tuesday.

The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) of Taiwan was still reviewing the project, said the source from Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co, a consortium led by state-run firm CPC Corp.

“We have no plan to give up the project now. But if EPA did not approve it finally, we might drop it as shareholders will withdraw the fund,” she said.

The proposed $36bn (€28bn) project at Changhua county would include a 300,000 bbl/day refinery, a 2.4m tonne/year cracker and more than 20 downstream chemical units, the source said.

There were strong environmental concerns as the project site along Taiwan's southwestern coast was close to a habitat of humpback dolphins, she added.

However, Kuokuang Petrochemical was still hopeful the project would be approved within the year, the source said.

Based on the company’s schedule, a small part of the mega project would start up in 2015 and the rest will come on stream by 2017, the source said.

CPC has a 43% stake in Kuokuang Petrochemical. Its partners in the project include China Man-made Fibre, Chang Chun Petrochemical, Oriental Union Chemical, Ho Tung Chemical and Fubon banking group.

($1 = €0.77)

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By: Judith Wang
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