The Kuokuang Petrochemical Park investment project will be scaled down to increase the chances of it passing an environmental impact assessment according to state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油).
The investment will be cut from more than NT$900 billion (US$30.87 billion) to NT$600.5 billion, CPC chairman Chu Shao-hua (朱少華) said of the preliminary plan.
He added that planned output at the oil refinery would be decreased from 450,000 barrels to 300,000 barrels per day, while planned ethylene output would be reduced from 2.4 million tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes per year.
The number of factories in the park will be lowered from 41 to 25, with its total area decreasing from 2,600 hectares to 1,900 hectares, Chu said.
Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co (KPTC, 國光石化科技) is a joint venture between CPC and several private companies.
Chu said CPC would invest NT$250 billion in the project, accounting for 43 percent of the total investment.
The outcome of the environmental impact assessment is expected to be released in late February or early March, he said.
The project has been under consideration since the 1990s, with the proposed site changing several times because of objections by local residents.
The current project involves building the country’s eighth naphtha cracker in Changhua County’s coastal Dacheng Township (大城).
Environmentalists and local residents have expressed opposition to the plan, arguing that the facility would cause irreversible damage to local flora and fauna and endanger marine life in what is already a fragile ecosystem.