Taiwanese protest against petrochemical complex

Associated Press
Local residents of the planned construction site of a new petrochemical complex prepare to protest in front of the Environmental Protection Administration in Taipei, Taiwan, Thursday, April 21, 2011. Environmentalists believe the planned construction of the complex in the southern city of Changhua, will create losses that outweigh its economic benefits, including damaging the local agriculture sector and surrounding wetlands, while putting the health of local residents at risk. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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About 400 protesters are demanding that authorities scrap a plan to build a major petrochemical complex on reclaimed land on Taiwan's western coast.

The $20 billion Kuokuang complex is planned to be built near a string of wetlands in central Taiwan's Changhua county. It is to refine crude oil and produce ethylene, replacing an aging complex.

In the Thursday demonstration, protesters tossed oysters and farm produce to demand that authorities protect the wetlands from new industrial pollution.

The Kuokuang complex has failed to pass a string of environmental tests over the past five years.

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