Sat, Dec 10, 2005 - Page 11 News List

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Taiwan to build Asia's first LHC

Academia Sinica, Taiwan's top research institute, will cooperate with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to build a Large Hadron Collider (LHC) computing-grid maintenance center in Taiwan that will be the first of its kind in Asia.

Academia Sinica President Lee Yuan-tse (李遠哲) and CERN deputy director Jos Engelen jointly signed a memorandum yesterday on the establishment of a Tier-1 LHC computing-grid maintenance center to be located in Academia Sinica's Institute of Physics.

CERN is the world's largest particle-physics laboratory, and the LHC Computing Grid Project is CERN's flagship project.

The mission of the LHC Computing Grid Project (LCG) is to build and maintain a data storage and analysis infrastructure for the entire high-energy physics community that will use the LHC. The LHC is a particle accelerator which will probe deeper into matter than ever before.

R&D spending rose 8.3 percent

Spending on research and development totaled NT$260.9 billion (US$7.78 billion) last year, up 8.3 percent over the previous year, according to statistics released yesterday by the National Science Council.

The council's statistics also show that R&D spending last year accounted for 2.5 percent of the nation's GDP and represented a growth of NT$20.1 billion over 2003.

The number of researchers reached 91,490 last year, up 7.4 percent year-on-year, it said.

Tatung investing in Vietnam

Tatung Co (大同), Taiwan's leading home-appliance maker, is building the company's global production center in Vietnam, a Tatung spokeswoman said yesterday.

"The Vietnam manufacturing center is scheduled to begin operations in mid-2006. Tatung will relocate its production resources to the plant step by step with an aim to make it the company's global home-appliance production base," the spokeswoman said.

Construction of the facilities, located in Binh Duong, southern Vietnam, started early this year in a US$46 million project.

The Binh Duong unit is expected to generate annual revenue of NT$500 million to NT$600 million (US$14.9 million to US$17.9 million) next year, NT$10 billion in five years and NT$34 billion in seven years, she said.

Kaohsiung Harbor slipping

The Kaohsiung Harbor will lose its ranking as the world's sixth busiest container port to Rotterdam next year, Lin Chih-ming, the head of the Transportation Ministry's Navigation & Aviation Department, warned yesterday.

"In the first 11 months of this year, Kaohsiung Harbor handled 8.69 million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units), down 2.4 percent year-on-year," Lin said.

"But in the same period, Rotterdam Port's container volume rose 15 percent," he said.

Lin admitted that Kaohsiung Harbor's challenge comes mainly from China's deep-water ports -- Yangshan and Xiamen.

Kaohsiung Harbor plans to give shipping companies greater incentives to prevent them from switching to other ports.

"The biggest incentive is that starting next year, if a foreign shipping line handles more than 1 million TEUs at Kaohsiung Harbor, it will enjoy a cut of NT$2 million (US$660,000) in its port facility fees," he said.

NT dollar slides

The New Taiwan dollar traded lower yesterday, as US dollar demand from importers and oil firms outpaced inflows of foreign capital, dealers said.

The local dollar slid NT$0.016 to close at NT$33.517 on the Taipei foreign exchange market, on turnover of US$613 million.

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