MOEA sticking with Kuantan

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter

Fri, Oct 06, 2017 - Page 12

The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday said it still favors building the nation’s third liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal at an industrial harbor in Taoyuan’s Kuantan Industrial Park (觀塘工業區), because the Port of Taipei (台北港) is not big enough to accommodate the project.

“We evaluated the Port of Taipei as a backup plan, but found that it is not suitable. Kuantan is still our priority,” Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) told lawmakers during a question-and-answer session at a meeting of the legislature’s Economics Committee.

Shen’s remarks removed the option of moving the project to the Port of Taipei, which CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) acting chairman Yang Wei-fu (楊偉甫) on Sept. 22 said the government might consider as a potential location, in light of the environmental concerns at Kuantan Industrial Park.

CPC is in charge of building the planned LNG terminal.

Environmentalists have raised concerns about building the terminal at the port in Taoyuan, because of potential ecological damage that could threaten the habitat of coastal algal reefs and the newly discovered Polycyathus chiashanensis.

“CPC’s plan is to restore the rare species in the coastal area right next to the terminal,” Shen said. “We will protect the environment while building the project.”

The ministry and CPC will continue communicating with members of the environmental impact assessment review committee and environmentalists to enlist their support, he said.

The terminal, which was scheduled to begin construction in August, is still awaiting approval from the committee

After the completion of the terminal, it is set to begin supplying natural gas to the gas-fired power plant in Taoyuan’s Datan Township (大潭) by 2022, according to the ministry’s plan.