Tue, Dec 09, 2008 - Page 12 News List

Taiwan’s energy demand drops for fourth month: BOE

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Taiwan’s energy demand fell for a fourth month in October as a global recession reduced fuel and electricity use by manufacturers, the Bureau of Energy (BOE) said.

Overall use of coal, petroleum, gas, solar energy and electricity dropped 15 percent from a year earlier to the equivalent of 9.06 million kiloliters of oil, or about 1.84 million barrels a day, the bureau said in an e-mailed statement yesterday.

Demand declined 7.2 percent in September, 6.5 percent in August and 6.7 percent in July.

The local economy will sink into a recession this year after shrinking in the third quarter for the first time since 2003, the government’s statistics bureau said last month. Export orders fell for the first time in six years in October, a Nov. 24 economic ministry report said.

Falling orders mean less output, which results in a drop in energy consumption, Alan Wang, a planning official at the bureau, said by telephone in Taipei yesterday.

Energy demand from industrial users dropped 24 percent in October, the bureau said. Taiwan’s industrial production fell 13 percent that month, the most since February 2002, led by the chemical industry’s 24 percent decline, the Ministry of Economic Affairs reported last month.

Formosa Plastics Corp (台塑), Taiwan’s biggest maker of polyvinyl chloride reported a 33 percent decline in October sales.

The oil-derived plastic material is used in construction and consumer products, such as handbags and shoes.

Consumption of petroleum products plunged 24 percent from a year earlier to the equivalent of 3.46 million kiloliters of oil in October, the bureau said.

Power consumption fell 8.1 percent to 19.3 billion kilowatt-hours in October, with demand from industrial and energy companies 16 percent lower than a year earlier.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) and CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) utilized 72 percent of their crude distillation capacity in October, up from 62 percent in September, the bureau said.

Crude oil processing declined 8.4 percent from a year earlier to 4.48 million kiloliters.

Energy use in the 10 months to October declined 0.03 percent to the equivalent of 102.1 million kiloliters of oil.

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