Relocating the development project for Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co’s proposed eighth naphtha cracker overseas could be an option amid opposition to constructing the plant in Taiwan, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang (施顏祥) said yesterday.
On a visit to Academia Sinica, Shih said that from an economic point of view, major development projects such as naphtha crackers should be built in Taiwan, but added that the government would not oppose relocating such projects overseas if the environmental cost was “too heavy to bear.”
“The government will not proceed with Kuokuang’s naphtha cracking project without the passage of an environmental impact assessment,” Shih said.
Shih made the remarks in response to questions by Chou Chang-hung (周昌弘), an Academia Sinica specialist in plant ecology and phytochemical ecology.
Chou said the proposed eighth naphtha cracker, as well as the operational sixth naphtha cracker in Mailiao Township (麥寮), Yunlin County, run counter to the government’s policies on energy-saving and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Chou said the sixth cracker had damaged land, air and water resources in areas near the plant.
Building a new cracker in Changhua County would cause further damage, with the proposed plant expected to account for 25 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions when operational, Chou said.
In related news, representatives of environmental protection and wildlife conservation groups accompanied 20 schoolchildren to the Presidential Office yesterday to deliver postcards to President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) asking him to protect Taiwan’s indigenous pink dolphins, which are facing extinction.
The proposed location of Kuokuang’s cracker is a 200-hectare stretch of wetland at the estuary of the Jhuoshuei River (濁水溪), which also forms part of the habitat of the pink dolphins, whose population is believed to number fewer than 100.
A proposal by the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) to permanently ban sitting in Taipei Railway Station’s main hall has received a mixed reaction online, with some social media users vowing to launch a sit-in at the station. Gatherings at the hall have been prohibited since Feb. 29 in accordance with the Central Epidemic Command Center’s policy of reducing crowd sizes in public places. A Facebook user organizing the sit-in said that the hall is a public space and there is no legitimate reason to ban sitting on the floor. He said he suspected that the proposal was made due to business considerations and
Chinese over-the-top (OTT) service provider iQiyi cannot register as a provider in Taiwan after the Mainland Affairs Council declared it to be an illegal service, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday. Both iQiyi and WeTV were deemed to be illegal Chinese OTT operators in an interdepartmental meeting on Friday last week, officials said, adding that this prohibits them from marketing their services in Taiwan or seeking subscribers. The government plans to block a local server that iQiyi has been using to transmit content to domestic audiences, which would disrupt its content transmission. OTT Entertainment Ltd, which is enlisted by iQiyi to
The Taipei Grand Mosque yesterday said its earlier decision to cancel Eid al-Fitr celebrations on Sunday to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan would stand, even though there have been no new domestic cases of COVID-19 in more than a month. It will be the first time in 60 years that the event has not be held at the mosque. The Ministry of Labor had asked all mosques to suspend Eid al-Fitr celebrations and prayers this year, due to COVID-19 concerns, and encouraged Muslims to pray at home. This year Ramadan began on April 23 and is to
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