A US-based firm is establishing a bamboo processing factory at the Port of Suao in Yilan County, Taiwan International Ports Corp (TIPC, 台灣港務) announced.
TieBam Inc (竺豐), which established a subsidiary in Taiwan in 2018, specializes in the densification and processing of bamboo into durable, environmentally sustainable railway ties, TIPC said.
The railway tie market has faced challenges over the past few years due to restrictions on the supply of wood amid growing awareness of environmental issues, it said.
“To address eco-sustainability and new market needs, TieBam developed and patented an innovative bamboo densification technique that allows the use of this fast-growing material in high-performance industrial applications,” TIPC said, adding that densified bamboo ties are stronger and more durable than traditional wood ties.
They are also more cost-effective and have a significantly lower impact on the environment, it said.
TIPC said that its office in Keelung on Oct. 24 last year began reviewing the qualifications of contractors interested in leasing the No. 4 warehouse at the port.
TieBam was chosen as the most qualified contractor, the company said, adding that the two sides signed a lease at the end of last month.
TIPC said that TieBam would have bamboo delivered from Southeast Asian nations to its warehouse, where the material would be processed into railway ties for shipment to buyers worldwide.
TieBam is to spend NT$200 million (US$6.64 million) building the facility at the port, which is expected to be ready for commercial production at the end of next year, TIPC said.
“The facility should generate about NT$1.6 billion in annual revenue in the initial stage, with annual revenue expected to rise to NT$6 billion over time. The facility is also expected to create about 100 new jobs. We look forward to the increase in foreign investment at the Port of Suao, which would raise its shipping volumes and revenue, as well as spur the growth of industry clusters,” the company said.
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