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INTERVIEW-Formosa sees faster ok for U.S. petrochemical plant under new EPA chief
March 1, 2017 / 7:33 AM / 6 months ago

INTERVIEW-Formosa sees faster ok for U.S. petrochemical plant under new EPA chief

TAIPEI, March 1 (Reuters) - Formosa Petrochemical Corp. expects faster approval for a planned $9.4 billion petrochemical plant in the U.S. state of Louisiana under the administration of President Donald Trump, the company's chairman said on Wednesday.

The appointment last month of Scott Pruitt to head the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been welcomed by many Republican lawmakers who blame the agency for federal overreach and killing jobs in the coal and other industries, but has raised concerns among environmental advocates.

Asked about the impact of the new EPA appointment, Formosa Petrochemical chairman Chen Bao-lang said he expects the group will benefit from less stringent environmental regulations undera Trump administration.

"We are more optimistic about the investment," Chen told Reuters in an interview. "At least the obstacles will be fewer... We're aiming to get an air permit in August 2018."

Formosa Petrochemical is part of Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group.

Another Formosa subsidiary, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, paid $500 million in damages in Vietnam after it admitted last year that it polluted more than 200 km (125 miles) of coastline in April, killing more than 100 tonnes of fish and devastating the environment, jobs and economies of four provinces.

Reporting by Faith Hung; Editing by Richard Pullin

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