The government was urged yesterday to prevent Taiwan’s petrochemical industry from being crippled after Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), one of the nation’s largest industrial conglomerates, was ordered to suspend operations pending safety inspections in the wake of a string of fires at its complex in Mailiao Township (麥寮), Yunlin County.
The Petrochemical Industry Association of Taiwan called on the government to help expedite the renovation of FPG’s aging and accident-plagued plants in Mailiao.
It urged the government to ensure that operations and shipments of the petrochemical industry remain normal while the FPG plants are closed in stages over the coming year for inspections. It also called for other companies in the industry to unite during this time, prioritize the domestic market and to stop exporting if necessary.
The association said industry would incur huge losses if furnaces are shut down and restarted, adding that FPG has a 70 percent share of the nation’s petrochemical processing capacity.
“The FPG suspension is not just a loss for FPG, but will take a toll on the entire country,” it said.