Supporters and opponents of the plan to build Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology complex clashed in central Taiwan at a public hearing regarding the project held by the government. The protesters broke through a barrier erected by the police to separate the two groups. The two opposing sides used poles and protest banners to poke at each other outside the township hall in Tacheng, Changhua county before the hearing. According to the latest blueprint submitted by the company to the government for environmental impact evaluation, the proposed complex will occupy 2,836 hectares of coastal land. The first phase is scheduled to be completed in 2016 will boost economic growth significantly, according to its backers. But environmental activists insist that Taiwan, long plagued by industrial pollution, can no longer afford such large energy-guzzling projects.