Kuokuang Petrochemical's attempt to build its eighth naphtha-cracking plant has become one of Taiwan's most controversial environmental issues in recent years. The original plan was jointly proposed in 2005 by the CPC Corporation, 43 percent of which is owned by the government of Taiwan, and a number of other private companies. Total costs were estimated at roughly NT$933.6 billion (US$32.2 billion). The proposal called for a petroleum refinery capable of producing 300,000 barrels of crude oil daily, a naphtha-cracking plant capable of producing 1.2 million metric tons of ethylene annually, a paraxylene plant capable of producing 800,000 metric tons of aromatic hydrocarbons annually, twenty-three midstream and downstream petrochemical plants, fourteen cogeneration plant units, and thirteen dedicated industrial piers. The whole complex was expected to span 2,700 hectares of wetlands in Changhua County (problems with land procurement and an initial environmental impact assessment ruled...

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