Tue, Mar 06, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Desalination rules ‘unreasonable’: Formosa Plastics

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter

Expressing concern about the ongoing environmental impact assessment for a NT$5.4 billion (US$184.4 million) seawater desalination plant project in Yunlin County, Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團) yesterday urged the government to ease its “unreasonable” regulations.

The government should take into account the feasibility of the standards it has set, FPG chairman William Wong (王文淵) told a news conference in Taipei, referring to the restrictions on the facility’s daily output.

Wong’s remarks came after the project, which aims to reduce the firm’s reliance on Nantou County’s Jiji Dam (集集攔河堰), received initial approval from an environmental impact assessment committee on Friday last week.

However, the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) requires FPG to ensure stable water supply from the facility, which should run at full capacity between February and May, and produce nearly 100,000 tonnes of desalinated water per day.

“It is difficult to make the plant fully operational for four consecutive months, given so many uncertainties,” Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (台灣化學纖維) vice chairman Hong Fu-yuan (洪福源) said, adding that changeable weather conditions might result in high turbidity in seawater.

The government’s assessment of the project should be focused on the environmental impact the facility could exert, instead of the production volume, Hong said.

Meanwhile, FPG officials were upbeat about the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp (台塑河靜鋼鐵興業) venture in Vietnam, saying that the production schedule is back on track.

It is forecast to generate more than US$2.5 billion this year, unit chairman Y.C. Chen (陳源成) said.

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