The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) will next month support a proposal presented by local authorities to build the nation's third eco-industrial park in a bid to promote green-energy industries, officials said yesterday.
To give consideration to both economic development and environmental protection, the EPA started pushing for eco-industrial parks last September. In January, two vacant sites in Hualien and Kaohsiung counties were chosen for the nation's first ecoparks.
Officials said that preparation work at the first two parks was progressing smoothly because authorities in the two counties were anxious to promote regional development by adopting long-term strategies, such as building infrastructure nearby.
According to Yang Ching-shi (
"Potential business opportunities at the first two parks are obvious. Other local authorities want to have a try too," Yang said yesterday at a press conference.
The establishment of eco-industrial parks in Taiwan aims to recycle resources -- making industries more ecologically friendly -- and upgrade environmental technologies.
Officials said that the establishment of these parks could not only introduce advanced environmental technologies from abroad but also integrate domestic environmental professionals.
According to Yang, construction of a park covering 40 hectares in Kaohsiung County's Benchao Industrial Zone will be launched next month. So far, 18 foreign environmental technology firms from Japan, Singapore, Belgium, France, Germany, Australia and the US have expressed their interest in opening branches at the park.
In addition, 25 domestic firms specializing in water treatment, sea water desalination, energy efficiency and green consumption would also build factories at the park in Kaohsiung.
To promote green energy R&D, the EPA contacted some leading firms, such as Formosa Plastics Group and Du Pont in Taiwan as well as the Industrial Technology Research Institute, urging their investment in the park.
Meanwhile, to offer investors more advantages, Kaohsiung County Government is negotiating with the land owner to lower unit prices for 1 ping (3.31m2) of land to less than NT$30,000.
Targeting foreign investors, the EPA plans to hold workshops in advanced countries, including Japan, the US and Canada.
The other project to establish an eco-industrial park in Fenglin, Hualien County, will be assessed for its environmental impact. According to officials, construction will start by the end of this year.
Yang said the site of Taiwan's third eco-industrial park will be decided upon early next year.
"If a fourth park is needed, we will do it," Yang said.