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Protesters Clash at Taiwan Petrochemical Plant Hearing

7 years ago51 views

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Clashes break out over a proposed petrochemical plant in Taiwan. Concerns are high about the impact the plant will have on the environment.

Hundreds of supporters and opponents of a planned petrochemical complex in Taiwan clashed on Tuesday, ahead of a hearing into the project.

Clashes broke out in Changhua after a police barrier dividing the two groups was thrown down.

The project's backers say it would boost economic growth significantly and would create 10,000 jobs.

But local residents and environmentalists are concerned about the effects of industrial pollution if the plant project goes ahead.

"The plan for Kuokuang Petrochemical plant has been in discussion for many years. The reason why the government wants to build the plant is that they want to deceive the common people like us, and we are all forced to listen to them."

The clashes died down by the time the hearing began, but some protesters continued to make their views heard during the session.

Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co, a consortium led by state-run oil refiner CPC, has applied to reclaim land in the Taiwan Strait for a 300,000 barrels per day refinery and a petrochemicals complex.

But the government is reviewing the offshore project under increased environmental pressure. It comes after Kuokuang refused to add a 935 million U.S. dollar ocean corridor for the passage of a local Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin population feared to be endangered.

The Environmental Protection Administration has the right to shut down the project. It depends on the outcome of a study that began in March and should be completed by year's end.

If the project goes ahead, the refinery would be the twelfth largest in Asia.