Taiwan-based Formosa Plastics Group is considering several major international suppliers for its NT$ 5 billion (US$ 150 million) project to build Taiwan’s first large-scale desalination plant. The 100 Ml/d facility will be constructed on the site of one of Formosa’s naphtha crackers at Mailiao, Yunlin County to alleviate the impact on the naphtha plant of forecast droughts.

Formosa said following its selection of suppliers, its next steps would be to decide on the desalination methods and to research and devise pollution reduction strategies. The project will be proposed to the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) for approval by February next year, at its soonest. Once approved Formosa has predicted that construction could be completed within three years.

The current list of equipment suppliers evaluated by the Formosa, include major companies from Israel, Singapore, Japan and Spain, according to local media.

Head of Department of Comprehensive Planning of the EPA, Chu Yu-Chi, said once Formosa has filed its project proposal next year, a special team including representatives from the Water Resources Agency , the Council of Agriculture, and the EPA’s Department of Water Quality Protection, will examine the case.

Chu said the EPA might develo guidelines for examining ocean desalination plants, since there may be similar cases to consider in the future.