Thu, Jan 16, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Business briefs

STAFF WRITER, WITH AGENCIES

Gasoline prices cut

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation's second-largest oil refiner, yesterday announced it is cutting its wholesale prices for gasoline and diesel products by NT$0.5 and NT$0.2 per liter, respectively.

The new measure takes effect today, the company said.

"We have decided to cut fuel prices because we expect OPEC to increase crude output and the possible release of oil reserves to the market to keep prices from rising in the short term," said Tsai Chi-yi (蔡啟邑), a Formosa Petrochemical spokesman.

Oil prices have risen two-thirds from a year ago over concerns of a war with Iraq and strikes in Venezuela.

Esso Petroleum Taiwan Inc (台灣埃索) also announced late last night that it would also cut prices.

"We have decided to cut pump prices of gasoline products by NT$0.5 per liter, and NT$0.2 for diesel products," said Scott Lu (呂宣儀), spokesman of Esso Taiwan.

Meanwhile, state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油), the nation's largest oil refiner, said it will allow retailers to adjust prices to counter competition -- with price reductions of up to NT$0.8 per liter for gasoline products and up to NT$0.4 for diesel products.

Nan Ya alleges patent violation

Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠) said it is seeking NT$17 million (US$493,000) in compensation from rival Far Eastern Textile Ltd (遠東紡織), alleging the nation's largest textile maker infringed on its patent for an ultrathin fiber product.

Nan Ya Plastics, a unit of the nation's largest industrial group, has filed a lawsuit in a Taiwan court against its rival, said senior vice president Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭), confirming a local newspaper report. It's the first such case against Far Eastern.

"Whenever anyone infringes on our patents, we will file charges against them," Wu said.

Far Eastern denied the allegations in a statement to the Taiwan Stock Exchange.

City hears transport plan

Uni-President Group (統一集團) is proposing to build an NT$8 billion (US$231 million) commercial and transport development for the Taipei City Government, a government official said yesterday.

The city government will soon start negotiations with Uni-President to finalize the project, which would feature a 15-story commercial center and a station for the Taipei Rapid Transit System, the official said.

The building, to be located in the Hsinyi district, would cover a floor area of 134,000㎡.

"If the talks proceed smoothly, the two sides will sign an agreement in the middle of this year. The development project is scheduled to be completed in the middle of 2006," the official said.

CEPD plans desalination plants

Chang Jing-sen (張景森), vice chairman of the Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), said yesterday that desalination plants will be built to supply water for the Tainan Science-based Industrial Park (台南科學園區).

Government agencies have been trying to find solutions to problems related to an insufficient water supply to the industrial park, especially as uncertainties remain as to whether a controversial reservoir at Meinung in Kaohsiung County will be constructed.

The government plans to offer investment subsidies to help attract private investment to build the plants, Chang said.

NT dollar strengthens

The New Taiwan dollar traded stronger against its US counterpart yesterday, rising NT$0.038 to close at NT$34.490 on the Taipei foreign exchange market.

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