The government has no plans to lift the ban on investments in naphtha cracking in China, even though four Taiwanese firms this week signed a letter of intent to cooperate with their Chinese counterparts, Vice Minister of Economic Affairs Hwang Jung-chiou (黃重球) said yesterday.
“There is no plan to lift the ban,” Hwang told a press conference held at the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) caucus office at the request of KMT lawmakers.
On Tuesday, Ho Tung Chemical Corp (和桐化學), China Petrochemical Development Corp (中石化), USI Corp (台灣聚合化學品) and LCY Chemical Corp (李長榮化學) signed a pact with China Petrochemical Corp (中國石油化工集團), also known as Sinopec Group, and the Fujian Provincial Government.
The Taiwanese firms plan to invest a total of US$15 billion in Fujian’s Gulei Peninsula in Zhangzhou to build a naphtha cracking plant with an annual refining capacity of 16 million tonnes of oil, producing 1.2 million tonnes of ethylene a year three years later.
The proposed Gulei project has yet to be approved by the ministry’s Investment Commission.
CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC,台灣中油) vice president Lin Sheng-yi (林勝益) dismissed speculation that the move had anything to do with the government’s decision to reject Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co’s (國光石化) plan to build a naphtha cracker complex in Chunghua County.
Lin said Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co, an affiliate of stated-owned CPC, preferred to continue investing in this country, adding that the location would be determined by the end of the year.
Of the four companies that signed the letter of intent on the Gulei project, only Ho Tung Chemical has an interest in the Kuokuang project as it holds a 3 percent stake, Lin said.