Thu, Aug 17, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Firms cashing-in on deep-sea water

SNAKE OIL?Industry representatives say their product can do everything from improving your immune system and relieving stress to preventing cardiovascular disease

DPA , TAIPEI

Several Taiwanese companies, eyeing the health benefits of deep-ocean water, plan to sell deep-sea water as drinking water, the Water Resources Agency said yesterday.

"Several companies plan to sell deep-sea water retrieved from the Pacific Ocean as drinking water, and use it for aquaculture and in medical treatments and spas," Chen Shen-hsien (陳伸賢) from the Agency said.

"Bottled deep-sea water will appear on the market in November. It will become a popular drink because deep-sea water is bacteria-free and is rich in nutrition," he said.

Deep-sea water refers to water 200m under the sea surface. Taiwan commands a unique geographical location for utilizing deep-sea water because just 50km off Taiwan's east coast the seabed drops to a depth of 4km.

Three companies have laid pipes to retrieve deep-sea water to sell it as bottled water after desalination.

Pacific Marine Biotech Corp (東潤水資源生技), has laid two pipes that can retrieve 2,000 tonnes and 13,000 tonnes respectively of water per day from a depth of 710m off Taiwan's east coast.

"We plan to start selling deep-sea water in 20 liter and 500cc bottles in November. The price will be higher than bottled water or mineral water because deep-sea water has more health benefits," the company's marketing manager Hung Yin-yin told reporters.

Hung said deep-sea water can help boost the immune system, relieve stress and prevent cardio-vascular diseases.

"Those who have tasted deep-sea water said that it leaves a sweet taste in their throat after having drunk the water. You don't get that from drinking mineral water," she said.

The Taiwan Fertilizer Co (台肥) plans to use deep-sea water to make cosmetics.

"Several foreign cosmetic companies, including Japan's Shu Uimura which has been purchased by L'Oreal of France, have asked to buy deep-sea water from us," Chung Chi-tung (鍾啟東) from the Taiwan Fertilizer Co said.

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