Formosa Chemicals won’t shut down Changhua plant


TAIPEI–Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Vice Chairman Hong Fu-yuan said Thursday that his company will not shut down its plant in Changhua County, in central Taiwan, prior to Oct. 8, despite concerns that it is causing excessive pollution.

According to county authorities, the sulfur content in the bituminous coal used by Formosa Chemicals & Fibre at its Changhua plant’s power generators was 1.2 percent, higher than the 0.84 percent-0.87 percent it had promised to maintain the level at.

The county had repeatedly asked the company to improve the situation by the Sept. 28 deadline.

However, Hong said on Thursday that his company has presented an application to the county government for allowing its plant to shut down the three power generators no earlier than Oct. 8, citing safety reasons, saying the operation of power generators cannot be suspended suddenly.

The plant, nonetheless, did not have the permits for its three power generators expiring on that day renewed.

Meanwhile, the company has presented an application to Taiwan High Court’s Taichung Branch for maintaining the status quo before the court decides whether the Changhua County Government’s handling of the power generators’ pollution case is legal or not, Hong added. The plant in Changhua specializes in the production of select artificial fibers, including nylon and rayon. If the plant is closed, about 1,000 workers there will lose their jobs.