Taiwan's KPTC awaits EIA results for mega petrochemical project

15 April 2011 10:18  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co (KPTC) must await the results of an environmental impact assessment (EIA) before it can make any further decisions on the status of its proposed mega petrochemical complex, an official from Taiwan's Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) said on Friday.

“The EIA team will hold a meeting on 21 April. The opinions achieved in this meeting will be submitted to EPA. Then EPA will open a final conference to ask all the members to vote. This conference will lay out the final decision for this project,” the official told ICIS.

However, the official declined to disclose when this final meeting will be held.

Farmers, residents and environmentalists have opposed the mega complex, which KPTC intends to build on reclaimed land near the wetlands of Changhua county. They say the project will harm the ecosystem and pollute the surrounding air and water, according to media reports. Many of the country’s oyster and eel farms as well as a habitat of humpback dolphins are situated along the coast.

Following the raising of these concerns, KPTC has pledged to downsize its planned facility by reducing the proposed number of plants at the complex from 41 to 25. This will include a 300,000 bbl/day refinery, a 1.2m tonne/year cracker and other downstream plants such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), a company spokeswoman said on 7 April.

The results of the EIA will result in three options for KPTC, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) quoted Taiwan premier Wu Den-yih as saying.

"If the project passes the EIA, we'll do it. If it fails, we will not do it. If it passes conditionally, then it would be up to the investors of the Kuokuang project to decide," Wu said.

Asked about the possibility of moving the project overseas, Wu said the Middle East is too far, but he noted that Indonesia or Malaysia had been suggested as possible locations, CNA reported.

Taiwan’s state-run firm CPC Corp has a 43% stake in KPTC. Its partners in the project include China Man-Made Fiber, Chang Chun Petrochemical, Oriental Union Chemical Corp (OUCC), Ho Tung Chemical and Fubon Financial Holding.

Additional reporting by Pearl Bantillo

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By: Judith Wang
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