Taiwan’s Kuokuang may scrap Changhua petrochemical project

26 April 2011 07:38  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--Taiwan’s Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co (KPTC) may not go ahead with its plan to build a petrochemical complex in western Changhua county, the company’s spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“[Taiwan’s] president Ma Ying-jeou’s statement actually killed the project, but the formal decision will be made after a directors' meeting and shareholders’ discussion,” the spokesperson said.

President Ma had said on 22 April that he will not support the project after an environmental impact assessment (EIA) team proposed either rejecting the complex or giving it conditional approval.

“The conditions for approval are very rigorous, not for Kuokuang, for any one petrochemical company, it is very difficult to achieve … So we might have to give it up,” the spokesperson said.

Regarding a possible relocation, the spokesperson said the company will study this further with its shareholders.

However, some Kuokuang shareholders have inspected possible sites in Malaysia and Indonesia and some have also been looking at Zhangzhou in China’s Fujian province, Taiwan’s Central News Agency (CNA) quoted economics minister Shih Yen-shiang as saying.

Farmers, residents and environmentalists have opposed the project, saying it will harm the ecosystem and pollute the air and water in an area that is home to many of the country's oyster and eel farms, according to media reports.

Following the raising of these concerns, the company decided to reduce the proposed number of plants at the complex from 41 to 25. This would include a 300,000 bbl/day refinery, a 1.2m tonne/year cracker and other downstream plants such as polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

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.

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By: Judith Wang
+65 6780 4359



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