Sat, Dec 31, 2011 - Page 12 News List

CPC plans to up budget for R&D

VALUE ADDED:The firm’s budget will grow to NT$5 billion to develop materials for renewable energy, engineering and high-value functional additives

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

State-run petroleum refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) yesterday said it would increase its annual research and development (R&D) budget to NT$5 billion (US$165.16 million) over the next five years, with half of that sum to be channeled into higher value petrochemicals.

Currently, CPC invests NT$1.7 billion in R&D each year, with value-added products taking up NT$500 million, CPC chairman Chu Shao-hua (朱少華) said.

The refiner yesterday formed a cross-industrial alliance with other firms and academics in a move to speed up high-end R&D for raw materials for use in producing renewable energy, engineering materials and high-value functional additives.

CPC hopes to invest in five projects initiated by the cross-industry alliance over a 10-year period, which would generate an additional NT$15 billion in production value a year, Chu said.

CPC and rival Formosa Petrochemical Corp (台塑石化) have responded to the government’s call to raise their investments in high-end petrochemicals for the industry to better compete on the global stage.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs is urging local petrochemical companies to invest at least 2 percent of their annual revenue in R&D by 2020, up from 0.32 percent.

Separately, CPC plans to shut a crude distillation unit at its Talin (大林) refinery for maintenance in October next year, a company official told Bloomberg Newswires.

The repairs will last about 30 days, said the official, who declined to be named.

CPC is scheduled to close a reformer at Talin for about 60 days for maintenance from late June, the report said.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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