Last update:
2018-10-18

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.


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
Name of conflict:Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Company, Taiwan
Country:Taiwan
Location of conflict:Changhua 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
Wetlands and coastal zone management
Oil and gas refining
Specific commodities:Crude oil

Chemical products
E-waste
Project Details and Actors
Project details:

The 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:2,000
Level of Investment:24,000,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:N/A
Start of the conflict:2006
End of the conflict:2011
Company names or state enterprises:Chinese 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 actors:Ministry 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 organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:the Society of Wilderness
Changhua Environmental Protection Union
Wild at Heart
Matsu’s Fish Conservation Union
Conflict and Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Neighbours/citizens/communities
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Artistic 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 of the project
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
Other Environmental impactsOil 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-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood
Outcome
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Strengthening 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 an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain: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 to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

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 to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

Save dolphins campaign
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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

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

Other documents

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

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]

Meta information
Contributor:Taiwan Environmental Information Association
Last update18/10/2018
Comments
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