Mon, Oct 02, 2017 - Page 16 News List

CPC Corp’s new refineries to be completed soon

IN THE PIPELINE:The firm said it was also investing in applications for the pure hydrogen it produces in its refining processes, to which end it issued ‘green’ bonds

By Kuo Chia-erh

Staff reporter, in KAOHSIUNG

State-run CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 中油) on Friday said an ongoing capacity expansion project at its refinery facilities in Kaohsiung’s Dalin Township (大林), which cost more than NT$20 billion (US$659.96 million), would be finished by the end of this month.

The three new plants at the refinery would produce lower sulfur refined products, which would ensure the firm’s competitiveness, refinery deputy manager Chen Cheng-hsi (陳正喜) said.

The new plants are expected to boost the refinery’s capacity from 300,000 barrels per day to 350,000 barrels, while helping the company to produce more “green” products, Chen told a news conference in Kaohsiung.

Established in 1969, the 500-hectare Dalin refinery serves as a major oil supply and transfer hub for the nation’s petrochemical products.

In a bid to raise energy self-sufficiency, CPC said it has been investing in research and development on hydrogen fuel cells for several years.

“We are trying to use hydrogen to generate electricity for a naphtha cracker in Kaohsiung’s Linyuan District (林園),” said Yen Tzu-hsiang (顏子翔), a researcher at CPC’s Green Technology Research Institute in Kaohsiung.

CPC said it is exploring business potential in this cutting-edge technology, as it generates high-purity hydrogen during refining processes.

Global carmakers have used the technology to build fuel-cell electric vehicles, Yen said.

Japan plans to build hydrogen fuel infrastructure ahead of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, while several Japanese carmakers — including Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co — have launched hydrogen fuel cell-powered models, he said.

CPC said it would begin a trial run of its hydrogen fuel cells next year with help from a low-temperature fuel cell system provided by the Hsinchu-based Industrial Technology Research Institute (工研院).

As part of its long-term strategy to develop sustainable technologies, CPC last week issued NT$2.8 billion in “green” bonds, which have a maturity period of 10 years with a fixed coupon rate of 1.16 percent, to replenish operational capital for improving natural gas infrastructure.

The company plans to use the proceeds to construct its third liquefied natural gas terminal in Taoyuan’s Guanyin District (觀音) and enlarge its natural gas plant in Taichung, CPC said.

The company said it is also considering building a plant on 9 hectares of land in Kaohsiung through Taiwan-Japan Oxo Chemical Industries Inc (曄揚), its joint venture with Japanese petrochemical maker KH Neochem Co Ltd.

The joint venture would build a plant to produce isononyl alcohol, which can be used to manufacture high-performance plasticizers, CPC said.

However, a timetable for the construction has not been finalized, as the project must still be approved by the Kaohsiung City Government, CPC said.

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