Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), the nation’s biggest diversified industrial company, expects this year’s profit to remain at last year’s levels as Chinese demand for petrochemicals offsets any impact from the debt crisis in Europe.
“We can maintain this year’s earnings around last year’s levels,” William Wong (王文淵), chairman of the executive board, said at FPG unit Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp’s (台灣化纖) annual shareholders’ meeting in Taipei yesterday. “China’s expanding economy will bolster Asian demand for petrochemicals.”
Formosa Chemicals reported a net income of NT$29.4 billion (US$914 million) last year, the Changhua-based company said in a stock exchange filing on March 19. The company posted a profit of NT$6.1 billion in 2008.
Formosa Chemicals plans to expand the combined capacity of its three aromatics plants to 3.73 million tonnes a year, from 3.5 million tonnes, company president Hong Fu-yuan (洪福源) told reporters yesterday, without giving a timeframe. The units produce benzene, paraxylene and orthoxylene, used to make computer casings, polyester fiber, dyes and insecticides.
The company is seeking approval from the Taiwanese and Chinese governments to build a 1.5 million-tonne-a-year pure terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Ningbo, China, Hong said. The chemical is used to make fibers and plastic bottles.
It currently has a capacity to produce 600,000 tonnes of PTA in Ningbo a year, he said.