Gas, diesel prices to fall
The state-run oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) said yesterday that domestic gasoline and diesel prices will be lowered by NT$0.4 per liter respectively, effective today, to reflect the recent fall in international crude oil prices.
After the adjustment, CPC’s price for a liter of 98-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$22.3, 95-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$20.8, 92-octane unleaded gasoline is NT$20.1 and diesel is NT$16.8. Prices of domestic gasoline and diesel are at their lowest levels in five years.
Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化), the nation’s only publicly traded oil refiner, yesterday also announced the same price cut as CPC.
Formosa restarts plant
Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) restarted its third ethylene plant after a three-month stoppage, after demand improved for the raw material used to make plastics and chemical products.
Production resumed on Thursday, Formosa spokesman Lin Keh-yen (林克彥) said yesterday. The plant was shut on Sept. 3 for a 45-day scheduled maintenance and was extended because the global recession reduced demand.
“Demand has improved, but it might not be enough for us to keep all our ethylene plants running,” Lin said.
Formosa may decide next week on whether to shut its No. 1 ethylene unit, he said.
Yeochun NCC Co, South Korea’s largest ethylene producer, restarted its smallest plant on Tuesday after a 20-day shutdown reduced inventories.
Kaohsiung bids due soon
The Kaohsiung City Government’s Research, Development and Evaluation Commission said yesterday that the government would award contracts by the end of the month for construction projects funded by the Executive Yuan to stimulate domestic demand.
Commission chief Hsu Li-ming (許立明) said that all 189 of the public construction projects, financed with a NT$3.78 billion (US$113.4 million) central government budget, would be completed by the end of October next year.
Many of the projects will be completed before the start of the 2009 World Games that start in the city on July 16, Hsu said. They include World Games venues such as an international standard swimming pool, an ice skating rink and a baseball field.
The largest is a series of water remediation projects that will cost about NT$550 million, the commission said.
China to grant 3G licenses
China will issue third-generation mobile phone licenses as early as this month and expects companies to spend 200 billion yuan (US$30 billion) on installing equipment.
“The 3G licenses will be issued either later this year or early next year,” Li Yizhong (李毅中), whose ministry regulates telecoms, said at a news conference.
China’s mobile phone market had grown to 650 million accounts, Li said.
Li confirmed reports by state media that China would use global 3G standards and a China-designed standard.
Global standards WCDMA and CDMA-2000 will be assigned to China Unicom Corp (中國聯通) and China Telecom Ltd (中國電信) respectively, while the homegrown TD-SCDMA will be assigned to China Mobile Corp (中國移動通信), Li said.
NT dollar loses ground
The New Taiwan dollar lost ground against the US dollar on the Taipei Foreign Exchange yesterday, declining NT$0.006 to close at NT$33.315.
A total of US$995 million changed hands during the day’s trading.