Tue, Jun 29, 2004 - Page 11 News List

Taisugar issues discount gas challenge to competitors

By Amber Chung  /  STAFF REPORTER

The state-run Taiwan Sugar Corp (Taisugar, 台糖) yesterday confirmed its determination to expand its gas retail business by introducing a three-day price-cut promotion for retail gas as well as signing a preferential procurement deal with its gas supplier.

"We hope all the effort that we have made will help sales of our gas business grow to more than NT$4 billion this year from over NT$3 billion last year," said Chen Hsueh-min (陳雪敏), head of public relations at Taisugar.

Taisugar yesterday cut its retail gas price by NT$3 per liter at 63 gas stations in Taichung County and other counties to the south. The promotion was to last for three days beginning yesterday.

In an attempt to diversify product lineups and sources of profit, Taisugar broke into the nation's retail gas market in 1995. The company currently has 68 gas stations and two petroleum gas stations scattered across the center and the south of the country.

The company yesterday also signed a five-year gas-procurement contract worth NT$20 billion with Chinese Petroleum Corp (中油), the nation's largest gas supplier.

Taisugar president Wei Wei (魏巍), who only took up the position earlier this month, said that the company saw a 6-percent rise in gas sales last month after establishing its gas business earlier this year.

The contract could help the company obtain a stable, preferred gas source, Wei said.

To expand its customer base, the company also plans to attract customers by offering preferential gas prices and gifts from next month.

The company expects to attract hundreds of thousands of new customers by the end of the year, Chen added.

One of Taisugar's rivals seems poised to meet the challenge.

Chinese Petroleum (中油), which owns around 600 gas stations, said it did not expect that Taisugar's price reduction would pose much of a problem for its business.

Chinese Petroleum's brand card issuer, Chinatrust Commercial Bank (中國信託), was to start a new promotion today, offering a discount of up to NT$10 per liter for new cardholders, said Hu Chong-tze (胡崇慈), the gas refiner's public relations specialist.

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