Fri, Jan 20, 2006 - Page 10 News List

CPC invests in complex in Yunlin

PETROCHEMICALS The company's joint venture, Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology, is to build a huge refinery and cracker complex in Yunlin County

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Kuokuang Petrochemical Technol-ogy Corp (國光石化科技), a joint-venture led by state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC, 中油), was officially established yesterday, and is expected to strengthen the nation's competitiveness in the sector.

With a total investment of NT$400.5 billion (US$12.46 billion), Kuokuang Petrochemical plans to construct a petrochemical complex on a 2,037 hectare plot of land in Yunlin County, the company said in a statement.

The complex's facilities will include an oil refinery with capacity to produce 300,000 barrels a day, a naphtha cracker capable of producing 1.2 million tonnes of ethylene per year, an aromatics complex that can produce 800,000 tonnes of para-xylene per year, 23 plants for middle and downstream operations, 14 cogeneration facilities and 13 docks.

In addition, the company is seeking partners in the Middle East to secure energy resources, which will further ensure Taiwan's strategic oil stockpiles, Kuo Ching-tsai (郭進財), chairman of Kuokuang Petrochemical, said at the inauguration ceremony.

Many firms in the Middle East have shown an interest in the project, said Kuo, a former chairman of CPC. He didn't identify the potential partners.

"The investment is the largest project in the industry in Asia, which will help to boost Taiwan's economy and enhance the nation's [competitive] edge in the sector," Kuo said.

The project is expected to create output value of over NT$350 billion, translating into an 0.91 percent increase in economic growth and NT$44.3 billion of tax revenue, the statement said. It will also provide 25,000 job opportunities, along with an output value of NT$650 billion for related industries, it said.

Construction work for the project is expected to start from this year and continue through 2014, the statement said. However, the company needs to pass an environmental evaluation, and reach an agreement on compensation with the local government before breaking ground.

Liu Cheng-peng (劉振鵬), an executive secretary at CPC, said Kuokuang Petrochemical will apply for an assessment by the Environmental Protection Administration soon and hopes to start construction by the second half of the year.

The company said it will adopt production processes with the lowest energy consumption and the lowest emissions. In addition, the company will also provide jobs and training to local residents to contribute to the county.

CPC controls a 43 percent stake in the venture. The other private shareholders are Oriental Union Chemical Corp (東聯化學) and the Chang Chun Group (長春) which each have a 20 percent holding, China Man-Made Fiber Corp (中纖), with a 10 percent share, Fubon Financial Holding Venture Capital (富邦金創) with 4 percent of shares, Ho Tung Holding Corp (和桐投控) with 3 percent and Pan Asia Chemical Corp (磐亞) with 1 percent.

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