Tue, Apr 24, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Land restoration plan to hit industry

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

A national land restoration plan recently put forward by the Cabinet is expected to have an impact on some domestic industries, particularly the cement processing industry, an official said yesterday.

The plan -- formulated in line with a national land restoration draft bill, which is pending in the legislature -- stipulates that public land in high elevation areas or areas zoned for restoration should not be leased out to private companies for business usage.

Chen Tai-hsiung (陳台雄), a deputy director of the Bureau of Mines, said that the land restoration plan would be seen to have an adverse impact on the cement, iron and steel and petrochemical processing industries. He added that if the plan was implemented, Taiwan's cement and marble processing industries would be the first to be affected, with many plants in these sectors being forced to close down because of a dearth of raw materials.

Taiwan Cement Corp (台泥), one of the country's major cement producers, said it does not expect the national land restoration plan to have any immediate impact on its business operations.

A corporate source said that Taiwan Cement has taken out leases on three mine areas around the nation for the extraction of rocks for the production of cement. The leases don't expire until 2017.

In addition, the source said, according to new extraction contracts, only 3 percent of the land is at an elevation of higher than 1,000m above sea level.

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