Kuo-kuang Petrochemical Development Protests

Kuo-kuang Petrochemical Kills; Petrochemicals Kills a Nation;l No to Kuo-kuang, Yes to a Sustainable Taiwan

Event description

Since 1968, Taiwan initiated the construction of naphtha cracking plants to produce petrochemical products. The first five plants were all located in Kaohsiung. The Fifth Naphtha Cracking Plant sparked the "Hou Jin Anti-Fifth" protest movement in the 1990s. The only privately-owned Sixth Naphtha Cracking Plant eventually settled in Mailiao, Yunlin, during the 1990s. The initially proposed Seventh Naphtha Cracking Plant in Qigu, Tainan, faced opposition from local residents and was withdrawn.

The Kuo-kuang Petrochemical project became one of the most significant environmental movements in Taiwan after 2000. While previous opposition to petrochemical industrial zones had been localized, the Kuo-kuang Petrochemical project united civic groups, students, and individuals from across the nation, elevating the movement to a national level. In a pivotal decision during an environmental impact assessment meeting on April 21, 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency's expert panel made a conditional decision ("Two Cases Combined") on whether to proceed with the development. On the following day, April 22, President Ma Ying-jeou announced that CPC Corporation would withdraw its investment, effectively terminating the development plan for Kuo-kuang Petrochemical.

Ultimately, the only remaining project, the "Kuo-kuang Petrochemical" (Eighth Naphtha Cracking Plant), was a state-owned enterprise with 42% investment from the state-owned oil company CPC Corporation. Kuo-kuang Petrochemical faced rejections from several county governments. However, in 2008, following a change in political leadership, it was decided to develop the plant in the coastal area of Dacheng Township, Changhua, under the name "Changhua County Southwest Corner (Dacheng) Coastal Industrial Zone."

During the environmental impact assessment process, environmental groups and experts raised concerns about various pollution issues. In addition to causing air pollution and increased water demand, it was feared that the project would harm the wetland environment off the coast of Changhua. Around 2005, a conservation group discovered a group of endangered "white dolphins" in the waters off Changhua, with an estimated population of just over 100. Consequently, environmental organizations, with the support of public appeal, began to draw attention to the pollution issues associated with the petrochemical industry, specifically opposing the establishment of Kuo-kuang Petrochemical.


After the withdrawal of investment in Kuo-kuang Petrochemical, CPC Corporation considered relocating the project to Johor, Malaysia. However, due to various factors, including the successful development of fracking technology in the United States, the economic viability of the project decreased. As a result, the investment plan was once again halted.

Participating Organizations

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