FPG to finalize plans for nation’s largest desalination plant
Formosa Plastics Group (FPG,
) revealed that it is in the process of selecting from several major international equipment suppliers, and it will be making its final decision in the coming days.
FPG has previously earmarked NT$5 billion for its project to build Taiwan’s first large-scale desalination plant in Mailiao (
), Yunlin County, where its sixth naphtha cracker (SNC, ) is situated. According to FPG, its goal is to provide 100,000 tons of fresh water per day, in hopes of minimizing the impact of droughts on SNC in the future — a hedge against hard times ahead.
Providing 100,000 tons of water a day far exceeds the size of the existing 22 ocean desalination plants in the nation, which produce 30,000 tons per day.
According to FPG, the next steps would be to decide on the desalination methods, research and devise pollution reduction strategies. The project will be proposed to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA,
) for approval by February next year, at the soonest. If the project is approved next year, FPG predicts the plant construction could be completed within three years.
At present, the
of equip- ment suppliers evaluated by FPG, include major companies from Israel, Singapore, Japan and Spain, according to local media.
After selecting the suppliers, FPG stated it would develop pollution prevention strategies according to its desalination method and procedures. This is because seawater contains algae and microorganisms that will clog the desalination system, and processing it would usually produce wastewater. Also, the filtering system runs on electricity, which may result in energy costs and emission of carbon dioxide, said FPG.
Head of the Department of Comprehensive Planning of the EPA ( ), Chu Yu-Chi (
), said there are no rules in place that govern ocean desalination plants. When the FPG files its project proposal next year, a special team will be formed to examine the case, consisting of representatives from the Water Resources Agency ( WRA, ), the Council of Agriculture (COA,
), the Department of Water Quality Protection of the EPA (
) , among others, said Chu.
Chu stated that the EPA might consider developing particular guidelines for examining ocean desalination plants, since it is possible that there will be similar cases in the future.
A fallen bolder blocks part of the road at the 69-kilometer mark of Alishan Road in Chiayi, yesterday. No one was injured by the rock. Traffic was interrupted for three hours before the large bolder was removed from the road.