Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Company, Taiwan

The Taiwanese state-owned Kuokuang petrochemical project met its end in 2011 due to objections from farmers, local residents and environmentalists, seeing probably the strongest public opposition to an industrial project in Taiwan in years


Description

The Taiwanese state-owned Kuokuang petrochemical project met its end in 2011 due to objections from farmers, local residents and environmentalists.

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Basic Data
NameKuokuang Petrochemical Technology Company, Taiwan
CountryTaiwan
SiteChanghua County
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Chemical industries
Oil and gas refining
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Specific Commodities
Crude oil
E-waste
Chemical products
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe Kuokuang project planned to built a 300,000 barrel-a-day refinery, factories that could produce 25 varieties of chemical products, and a 1.2-million-ton-a-year ethylene plant.
Project Area (in hectares)2,000
Level of Investment (in USD)24,000,000,000
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected PopulationN/A
Start Date2006
End Date2011
Company Names or State EnterprisesChinese Petroleum Corp (CPC) from Taiwan
The Far Eastern Group (FEG) from Taiwan
Fubon Financial Holding Co. from Taiwan
China Man-Made Fiber Corporation (CMFC) from Taiwan
Relevant government actorsMinistry of Economic Affairs

The Council of Agriculture’s Forestry Bureau

Fisheries Agency

the Coast Guard Administration

Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersthe Society of Wilderness

Changhua Environmental Protection Union

Wild at Heart

Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of MobilizationArtistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Arguments for the rights of mother nature
Appeals/recourse to economic valuation of the environment
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Genetic contamination, Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Soil contamination, Waste overflow, Oil spills, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
OtherOil tankers and pollution might also damage the habitat of the already endangered pink-hued Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins that lived in the waters off the wetland.
Health ImpactsPotential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseStrengthening of participation
Project cancelled
The project was suspended by the President and Relocation - there was a plan to relocate the project to Malaysia but the company later suspended the investment for economic reasons.
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The refinery’s fate seems to suggest that the industrialized island's environmental concerns have reached a critical point where a balance between development and environmentalism has to be worked out to ensure sustainable investments and ecological protection.
Sources and Materials
References

Taiwan’s Environmental Movement: the Case of Anti-Kuo Kuang Petrochemical Industry Movement and Anti-Nuclear Waste Movement in Orchid Island
[click to view]

Links

Save dolphins campaign
[click to view]

Media Links

Anti-Kuokuang Petrochemical campaign (Chinese)
[click to view]

The Anti-Kuokuang Camp (English)
[click to view]

Other Documents

Pink-hued Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins The already endangered pink-hued Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins that lived in the waters off the wetland
[click to view]

Dacheng Wetland Dacheng Wetland where the petrochemical plant would have been built (other industrial parks can be seen in the background)
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorTaiwan Environmental Information Association
Last update04/08/2015
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