CPC Corp, the Taiwanese firm interested in building a RM35bn petrochemical complex in Pengerang, Johor, had wanted to push ahead with its project here reportedly because its facility in southern Taiwan would be shut down in 2015 following strong protests from environmental and residents groups.
The Edge (16 July 2012) reported the plan initially was for the plant to be built in Taiwan but Taiwanese president Ma Ying-jeou withdrew support for the project after environmental groups opposed the plan.
Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co, 43 per cent owned by CPC, was supposed to spearhead the project in Pengerang. The project consists of a 150000-barrels-a-day refinery and an 800000-tonnes-per-annum naphtha cracker.
This sparked allegations that the firm was exporting its pollution to Malaysia, as reported in Asia Sentinel on 27 April.
The 2,000 hectares of Changhua’s rare and pristine wetlands, the natural habitat of the endangered Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin near them and last but not least the predicted significant increase of air pollution, which environmentalists say would produce particles fine enough to invade even the smallest airways, led to the emergence of a powerful civic movement that decisively frustrated Kuokuang’s plans.
So now they want to come to Malaysia.
Meanwhile, the China Post reported the following in April:
Explosion rocks CPC plant in Kaohsiung
A major explosion at a CPC Corp., Taiwan plant in Kaohsiung has caused local residents to worry about their safety and disrupted the local petrochemical supply chain.
The explosion, which occurred at about 3:28 a.m., sparked a fire that gutted the plant for about five hours before being extinguished.
No casualties were reported. The state-run firm also claimed that no pollution was detected because of the accident.
Operations of the plant and other areas of the same refinery complex were halted, with Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu instructing that the heaviest possible penalties be imposed on CPC over the accident.
The southern city’s environmental authorities slapped CPC with a NT$1 million fine for creating a hazard to the environment.
In Pengerang, the issue has worried local residents and fisherfolks and could cost the BN votes in the coming election in its stronghold of Johor just as the Lynas rare earth refinery could cost the BN votes in parts of Pahang.