Activists Cheer China’s Plan to Move Refinery

After years of steady pressure, environmental activists in Guandong have been successful in convincing the Chinese government to change the location of the proposed five billion dollar Sinopec-Kuwait Petroleum oil refinery from Nansha in the Pearl River Delta to an undisclosed region:

“The decision by the government shows that they do consider the opinions from different stakeholders across the region, which is a positive sign,” said Edward Chan, a Greenpeace campaign manager based in Hong Kong.

In recent years, Chinese citizens have scored some victories over local governments, which have shelved or delayed projects after vocal opposition about pollution and environmental worries.

These include a paraxylene chemical plant in the city of Xiamen that was scrapped on toxicity concerns and a delay over a planned hydroelectric power dam on the Nu river in Yunnan province.

Other environmentalists question if the decision to move the refinery was really a success, as the refinery may be built in a region with a less powerful, organized and watchful environmental movement.

See also the March 2009 CDT post “Notice Banning Discussion of Guangdong Nansha Oil Project Environmental Impact Report.”

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