Two major units of Formosa Plastics Group (台塑集團), the nation’s largest industrial conglomerate, yesterday denied speculation that Tropical Storm Harvey had significantly affected the operation of their plants in Texas.
The two firms’ remarks came after the Chinese-language Economic Daily News yesterday reported that the shutdown of Formosa Plastics Corp’s (台塑) Texas plant might cause losses of more than US$60 million.
Losses from Harvey could also reach US$700,000 at a plant owned by Nan Ya Plastics Corp (南亞塑膠), the report said.
Formosa Plastics rejected the report in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange, saying that the storm did not cause any substantial damage to their manufacturing equipment.
The Texas unit’s inventory remains sufficient for customers and most employees had returned to work on Wednesday, the nation’s largest producer of polyvinyl chloride said.
Two sets of steam boilers and one electricity generator at the plant have also begun operations, the firm’s statement said.
The company said its Texas facility would resume production as soon as possible after traffic gets back to normal in the region.
It did not provide a time table or an estimate of losses.
The Texas plant — which produces ethylene and polyvinyl chloride — is Formosa Plastics’ largest production base in the US.
The company also runs plants in the US states of Louisiana and Delaware.
The three plants generate nearly US$130 billion in revenue per year, company data showed.
The company has been working on an expansion project at its Texas unit, aiming to raise its capacity of low-density polyethylene by 400,000 tonnes per year and polypropylene by 250,000 tonnes per year by the third quarter of next year.
Nan Ya also said in a statement that operation of its Texas plant for making ethylene glycol was not severely affected by Harvey.
Nan Ya has kept equipment at the facility safe and shipments were delivered to customers on schedule, it said, adding that the Texas unit contributed only 1 percent of the company’s total sales of NT$275.29 billion (US$9.1 billion) last year.
Potential losses due to the temporary shutdown of the facility are limited to US$55,000 per day, the company forecast.
Its Texas plant is to resume operations when electricity supply returns to normal, the company said.
Nan Ya is to build a plant to produce ethylene glycol in Texas, given the lower natural gas costs there, company chairman Wu Chia-chau (吳嘉昭) said earlier this year.
Manufacturers are on a mission to produce desperately needed medical ventilators for the COVID-19 pandemic, even if it means converting assembly lines now making auto parts. Along with a shortage of masks and gloves, the spread of COVID-19 to almost every corner of the globe has highlighted a great need for specialized machines that help keep severely afflicted patients alive. “As the global pandemic evolves, there is unprecedented demand for medical equipment, including ventilators,” GE Healthcare chief executive officer Kieran Murphy said. The group has hired more workers and is making ventilators around the clock. Swedish group Getinge AB is also ramping up output
Facing the rapidly evolving global COVID-19 pandemic, Citibank Taiwan Ltd (台灣花旗) has proactively taken precautionary measures. “The health and safety of our colleagues and their families, as well as our clients and the communities we serve, are of the utmost importance. We continue to take proactive measures to preserve their well-being while we maintain our ability to serve our clients,” Citibank Taiwan chairman Paulus Mok (莫兆鴻) said in a statement yesterday. “We have local and regional contingency plans in place, and we have well-established business continuity plans for the firm. We are monitoring the situation closely, adjusting our operations accordingly,
UPGRADE AND TRANSFORM: Although the cross-strait trade deal might remain, the Ministry of Economic Affairs said businesses should prepare for any disruptions Taiwan might face a decline in foreign trade with China if the cross-strait Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) ends this year, Minister of Economic Affairs Shen Jong-chin (沈榮津) said yesterday. The agreement, which was signed and put into effect in 2010 to reduce trade barriers across the Taiwan Strait, is expected to end this year, despite not having an exact termination date. “We have not received notification [from China] that it wishes to terminate ECFA,” Shen told reporters prior to attending a meeting at the Legislative Yuan. “Even if we are notified, the agreement would only cease after six months.” While acknowledging the
GoShare, an electric scooter sharing service provider with Gogoro Inc (睿能創意), plans to expand to Tainan next quarter in a strategic alliance with Aeon Motor Co (宏佳騰). The company currently offers its services in Taipei and Taoyuan. “Tainan is very popular among tourists. The city receives an average of 22.94 million tourists every year,” GoShare head Henry Chiang (姜家煒) told a news conference yesterday in Taipei, citing Tourism Bureau statistics. “Besides, the city has a long history of riding scooters,” he said. Each household owns an average of 2.5 scooters, he added. “Expanding presence” is one of four strategies GoShare is adopting for this