State-owned oil supplier CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC, 台灣中油) plans to build a new naphtha cracker in Kaohsiung to replace its No. 4 cracker at a cost of NT$82.3 billion (US$2.89 billion), CPC spokesman Chang Ray-chung (張瑞宗) said on Sunday.
The No. 4 cracker in Linyuan District (林園) has been operating for 37 years and has an annual ethylene production capacity of 380,000 tonnes, which cannot meet demand, Chang said.
Given robust demand for basic chemical raw materials and potential demand from a new circular industrial park being developed in Siaogang District’s (小港) Dalinpu Village (大林蒲), which is focused on innovative materials, CPC has decided to build a new naphtha cracker to sustain an adequate supply, Chang said.
The company is required to build a new plant before it dismantles the old one, and finding a site for the new plant was a pressing issue, he said.
For the project, CPC chose a 31 hectare plot it purchased in 2017 from chemicals manufacturer China American Petrochemical Co Ltd (中美和石化).
CPC plans to apply for an environmental impact assessment next year, and hopes to break ground in 2025 and begin production in 2028, Chang said.
The new plant is expected to produce 1 million tonnes of ethylene per year, 163 percent more than produced at the current facility, he said.
Separately, Formosa Plastics Corp (台灣塑膠) last week said that it plans to invest about US$3.6 billion in Taiwan, China and the US over the next five years to expand its production capacity.
The company said the investment is aimed at tapping the expected global recovery in the post-COVID-19 era.
Most of the funds would go to the US, where the company is considering investing US$2.92 billion in its plant in Texas to raise annual production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and caustic soda by 800,000 tonnes, 800,000 tonnes and 560,000 tonnes respectively.
In Taiwan, the company would spend NT$350 million to help subsidiary Taiwan VCM Corp (台灣氯乙烯) expand its PVC production capacity by 100,000 tonnes a year, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year, Formosa Plastics said.
Another NT$8.85 billion would be spent to build 12 storage tanks and a warehouse in Kaohsiung, with construction scheduled to be completed by March next year, the company said, adding that NT$200 million would be invested in its superabsorbent polymer plant in Chiayi County to boost production by 20,000 tonnes a year.
Formosa Plastics plans to invest US$40 million in its Ningbo plant in China to increase the production of ethylene vinyl acetate by 28,000 tonnes a year, it said, adding that the work is expected to be completed by December next year.
The company said that it is also studying the feasibility of investing US$360 million in Ningbo to raise annual PVC and VCM production by 150,000 tonnes and 600,000 tonnes respectively.
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