Fri, Jul 18, 2003 - Page 11 News List

Chinese Petroleum, Formosa qualify as stockpile suppliers

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Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油) and Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) may be picked to supply as much as NT$15 billion (US$436 million) of crude oil to the nation's fuel stockpile this year, a government official said.

The government may soon issue a tender seeking about 1.5 million kiloliters of crude oil for delivery by the end of this year, said Wang Yunn-ming (王運銘), a spokesman for the Energy Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

The government is aiming to build a crude oil stockpile of 3 million kiloliters by the end of next year to protect it from possible disruptions to supply and meet any increases in demand.

"We're monitoring international prices of crude oil and haven't decided on the timing for the tender, Wang said.

"How much crude oil we'll buy also depends on market prices," he said.

Chinese Petroleum and Formosa Petrochemical, the refining unit of Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), were selected as possible suppliers because they meet the criteria set by the commission, Wang said.

To qualify, suppliers must be companies registered in Taiwan and hold licenses to import and refine crude oil. They must also have facilities to store the crude oil.

The commission may also buy liquefied petroleum gas and fuel oil from the two companies should they decide to bid for the oil stockpile tender, Wang said.

Taiwan imported 98 percent of its total energy supply of 113.23 million kiloliters of oil equivalent last year, the commission said on its Web site.

It spent US$8.56 billion on oil imports last year.

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