Plans by the Formosa Plastics Group to make alterations to the phase-four expansion at its naphtha cracker in Yunlin’s Mailiao Township did not pass the Environmental Protection Administration’s (EPA) Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) review, as per Taipei Times. The company has been asked to rethink its plan and file supplementary information for further review. Formosa Group had proposed the additional construction of polycrystalline silicon solar application plants (initially part of its phase-five expansion) and hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer plants, which together would have increased production capacity by 6.01% more than the original phase-four expansion project.
In April, the EIA committee considered the new proposals and concluded that they involved too many alterations. Then it asked Formosa Group to rethink its plans and provided supplementary documents for further review. Yesterday the group said the increase in production capacity was below 10% (alterations that exceed 10 percent are required to re-apply for an EIA review) and it had the capacity to deal with increased waste. The planned alteration to the project would call for an additional 4,000 tons of water, which the group said would also be self-supplied.
However, the local government, the fish farming industry and civic environmental protection groups all oppose Formosa Group’s new plans. Noting the number of recent accidents at the naphtha cracker complex, Yunlin County Government Economic Affairs Department director said that the county government remains opposed to any changes before the working environment at the complex is improved and the group establishes effective lines of communication with local residents.