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17 Jun 2013

Company responses/non-responses re impacts of planned InfraVest wind turbines in Yuanli, Taiwan

In September 2012, residents of Yuanli Township launched years-long protests against a wind turbine construction project by InfraVest, a German wind power company, after learning that the firm intended to build 14 wind turbines along the coastline.  Residents who formed the Yuanli Self-Help Group are concerned about the density and close proximity of turbines to their homes; and scientific reports indicating there could be a correlation between increased health problems and depression and long-term exposure to the low-frequency noise generated.  Residents also alleged that private security officers hired by the company used violence against protesters on 8 June 2013.

On 16 June 2013, InfraVest held a mediation meeting with objecting residents (linked article only available in Chinese).  However, the two sides failed to reach an agreement, and the company decided to carry on with the project as planned.  Also on 16 June, Yuanli Self-Help Group issued a statement, detailing its demands for InfraVest to stop the project and calling on Standard Chartered to reconsider its investment in InfraVest

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre sought responses to the statement by Yuanli Self-Help Group, and the following news reports:

Wind turbine troubles”, Taipei Times, 17 Jun 2013
“風機協調破局6座全設苑裡自救會痛批, Liberty Times (Taiwan), 17 Jun 2013

-          InfraVest response [PDF]
-          Standard Chartered response [DOC]

In October 2013, after a 3-month halt, it was reported that InfraVest tried to restart the wind turbine construction one night.  Local residents who tried to stop them said construction workers and security guards used violence against them [video], and one of the residents was hit by a stone.  Yuanli Self-Help Group criticised InfraVest and Hi Tan Security for the use of violence, as well as Fei-ling Electronic Engineering and Taimon - as the subcontractors for the wind turbine pipeline constructions - for being complicit in the incident. 

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited the four companies named to respond to the following items:

" Activists pan power firm for violence ", Taipei Times, 24 Oct 2013
[video]" 苑裡反風車抗爭 自救會成員與保全爆肢體衝突", China Times, 25 Oct 2013
" 英華威工地 凌晨爆流血衝突,風機制度諮詢會議 再遭杯葛" (Bloody Clashes at InfraVest Construction Site in early morning, Wind turbine system consultation meeting being boycotted again),苦勞網(Cool Loud), 23 Oct 2013
" 綠能染血,公民抗議" (Bloodstained on Green Power, Citizens protest), 苑裡反瘋車自救會(Yuanli Self-Help Group), 23 Oct 2013

Company responses/non-responses:

-          InfraVest responses [1] [2] [DOC]
-          Hi Tan Security response [DOC]
-          Fei-ling Electronic Engineering did not respond
-          Taimon did not respond

Company Responses

Fei Ling Electronic Engineering

No Response

InfraVest (part of VWind) View Response
InfraVest (part of VWind) View Response
Standard Chartered View Response

No Response