The petrochemical industry saw an increase in the production of high-value-added products last year, Council for Economic Planning and Development (CEPD) statistics showed.
The industry’s high value-added rate, which is calculated by comparing its output of high-value-added products to total production, was 15.4 percent last year, up from 14.4 percent in 2011, the council said.
However, last year’s rate was lower than the 16.6 percent recorded in 2010 and 17.7 percent in 2009, the council said.
For this year, the council said it expects the rate to reach 16 percent amid increasing investment, despite the challenges facing domestic producers, including obtaining technology know-how and competition from Singapore, India and Thailand.
Last week, the council said that total investment in the petrochemical industry is expected to reach NT$100 billion this year, including NT$15 billion in value-added production. That compares with NT$99 billion in petrochemical investments last year, including NT$13.3 billion in value-added production.
The council said that enhancing high-value-added production would help Taiwanese firms counter intensifying competition from low-value-added products from Chinese and Middle East producers.
Furthermore, low value-added products are more vulnerable to business cycles, the council said.
In related news, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has set up a promotions office for the development of high-value-added petrochemical businesses in collaboration with research institutions to help manufacturers move up the value chain.
The project has already started to yield results, with state-run refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) investing NT$285 million to establish a green energy research institute, and a test center for pilot mass production and the testing of new materials, the council said.