The state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC,
CPC, Taiwan's largest oil refiner, produces around 13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, or 5 percent of the national total, company vice president Lin Cheng-Hsiung (
After the Kyoto Protocol took effect in February, the Ministry of Economic Affairs called on CPC to reduce its emissions by 450,000 tonnes over the next four years. CPC has volunteered to cut another 50,000 tonnes, mainly by boosting fuel efficiency, Lin said.
When the company established its Fifth Naphtha Cracker in Kaohsiung in 1989, CPC decided to curtail greenhouse gas emissions by using natural gas, instead of coal or fuel oil, to refine its crude oil, which costs the company an extra NT$2 billion (US$63.3 million) per year, Lin said.
Burning natural gas procures half the volume of greenhouse gases that coal does, he said.
Another measure CPC is pursuing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions is importing low-sulfur crude oil from West Africa, which currently comprises 20 percent of CPC's total oil imports and adds another NT$7 billion to NT$8 billion to the company's costs every year, according to Lin.
CPC will further lower the sulfur content in its gas oil from the current 50 parts per million (ppm) to below 10ppm by 2009, as required by the Environmental Protection Administration, he said.
As for the fluctuating global oil prices, which have triggered market speculation over the possibility of another hike in gasoline prices at home, Lin repeated that CPC will only raise prices if crude oil shoots past US$60 a barrel.
He added that a sharp rise in oil prices is not expected in the next few months, as summer in the Northern Hemisphere is an off-peak season for oil consumption.
CPC chairman Kuo Chin-tsai (郭進財) said on March 24 that the company will not raise gasoline prices if crude oil prices stay under US$60 a barrel, while Minister of Economic Affairs Ho Mei-yueh (何美玥) said on March 14 that CPC will not be allowed to raise its wholesale gasoline and diesel prices unless the company's rivals do so first.
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