Taiwan's Eternal exits PS business; to close plant Oct 1

Taiwan's Eternal Chemical will cease its polystyrene resin business effective Oct 1 due to poor sales margins and negative production economics, a company official said Tuesday. The official, however, declined to reveal any details of Eternal's financial figures. "We will stop PS production by the end of September, and the plant will be closed permanently from October" the official added. The company has not decided what to do with the 50,000 mt/yr plant, which is located in Kaohsiung. Eternal indicated, however, that it would use the plant site for other applications.

Platts 2002/11/7

Taiwan's CPC revives $17-bil No 8 naphtha cracker plan

Taiwan's Chinese Petroleum Corp is interested in reviving a project to develop a greenfield naphtha cracker worth NT$600-bil ($17-bil) on the island. The state oil company is conducting an internal feasibility study into the project, a CPC source said Thursday. "We expect the study will be completed around mid-January of 2003. By then we should have a clearer picture on whether we should continue with the development the way it was first planned, or revise the whole project, or scrap it entirely if the results indicate such a project is not competitive," the source said.
The investment project was originally planned in 1995. CPC, along with 13 partners, had agreed to jointly invest in building a 1.2-mil mt/year naphtha cracker with downstream facilities and a 150,000 b/d refinery.


2003/3/10 Financial Times

ExxonMobil likely to join Taiwan petrochemical project

International oil giant ExxonMobil is likely to make massive investments in Taiwan's eighth petrochemical complex project led by the state-run Chinese Petroleum Corp. (CPC)

ExxonMobil, which has set up a joint venture with Taiwan's giant trading firm Pan Overseas Corp. to supply oil products, has shown interest in the CPC project mainly with the expectation that the state enterprise has the best chance to win the long-term contract of supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) for the Tatan thermal power plant being built by Taiwan Power Co. (Taipower), another major state-run company, in Taoyuan County

CPC chairman Kuo Chin-tsai has recently instructed executives to take Taipower's 25-year LNG contract "at whatever the cost" or the responsible executives will be held accountable

Kuo also agreed to actively consider purchasing LNG from ExxonMobil on the precondition that the American company makes capital investment in the new petrochemical complex project. Kuo is willing to allocate 35% of stake in the project to ExxonMobil, making it the second largest shareholder

Executives of ExxonMobil have expressed keen interest in the two cooperation proposal

In addition to potential foreign partners, CPC has also been soliciting other petrochemical companies in Taiwan to jointly build the No. 8 naphtha cracking plant at a sugar plant owned the government's Taiwan Sugar Corp. at Nanchou Hsiang in Pingtung County in southern Taiwan. Other possible locations include the offshore industrial park at Yunlin County in southwestern Taiwan and Tacheng Hsiang, a coastal township in Changhua County in central Taiwan

A total of 13 privately invested petrochemical enterprises have pledged to join the project, which will have daily refining capacity of 150,000 metric tons of crude oil to generate 1.2 million tons of ethylene per year

The Formosa Plastics Group, the largest petrochemical conglomerate in Taiwan, also showed interest in taking part in the project or buying into CPC shares when the government releases CPC stocks in the privatization plan.

Financial Times May 30, 2003

CPC (Taiwan) starts feasibility study for doubling ethylene capacity to 2 M tonne/y.

A feasibility study is understood to have been started by Chinese Petroleum Corp (CPC), Taiwan, for a worldscale petrochemical centre. This will be based on an ethylene cracker with a capacity of 2 M tonne/y. Initially, a cracker with a 1 M tonne/y capacity will be the centre of the project with a refinery and expanded petrochemical facilities being added in the medium term, second phase. Investors are expected to include those from overseas and Taiwanese producers of ethylene derivatives. A decision is to be made about the range of chemicals produced and the location of the complex. At Mailiao, a 1.6 M tonne/y ethylene facility is operated by Formosa Plastics Group. The company is considering expanding capacity there by 0.9-1.0 M tonne/y. No date has been given for the start of the additional production. The development of the complex is expected to include facilities for polyolefins, PVC and other intermediates. Output would be used to supply growing demand from China.

2003/4/1 Financial Times

Grand Pacific Petrochemical to expand SM production capacity  石油化学

Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corp., a local manufacturer listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, plans to expand its annual production capacity of SM (styrene monomer) from 330,000 metric tons at present to 500,000 metric tons

Grand Pacific currently has two SM production lines at its factory located in Kaohsiung County, southern Taiwan, with respective annual production capacities of 200,000 metric tons and 130,000 metric tons

In light of good prospects of the international and the domestic SM markets, Grand Pacific plans to increase its production capacity by demolishing the older production line with annual capacity of 130,000 metric tons and then establish a new one with that of 300,000 metric tons on a 2,000-ping (1 ping=35.58 sq. ft.) vacant lot inside its factory

With total estimated total cost of NT$2.7 billion, the new SM production line will be based on the most modern manufacturing process. Upon completion of the new production line, Grand Pacific's total production capacity will rise to 500,000 metric tons a year. Accordingly, Grand Pacific's average daily consumption of ethylene, a main material of SM, will increase from 280 metric tons currently to 360 metric tons. Chinese Petroleum Corp., the company's local supplier of ethylene, has consented to augmenting the supply in principle

Grand Pacific's board of directors, at a meeting on March 28, decided not to deal out any dividend for last year's operation because the company suffered after-tax loss of about NT$30 million in 2002. The board of directors also passed the company's plan to raise additional capital by issuing 150 million new shares to improve financial structure and repay bank loans.

June 9, 2003 Financial Times

Major makers to set up new PS plants in mainland China

Taita Chemical Co., Ltd., Taiwan Styrene Monomer Corp., and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. (FCF), three local petrochemical producers listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, will establish new PS (polystyrene) factories in mainland China

This is because of large short supply of PS in the mainland market. Mainland China imported 1.70 million metric tons of PS last year, accounting for 74.89% of the demand volume of 2.27 million metric tons. Due to fast growing production of information technology goods and electric home appliances, the demand for PS in mainland China is estimated to rise to 2.78 million metric tons in 2005, still exceeding the estimated domestic supply capacity of 2.025 million metric tons there in that year

Taita Chemical already has a PS factory in Zhongshan of Guangdong Province and will expand the factory's annual production capacity by 50,000 metric tons. In addition, the company will establish an EPS (expandable PS) factory with annual production capacity of 100,000 metric tons in Tianjin, the first EPS factory in the northern region of mainland China

Taiwan Styrene Monomer specializes in the production of SM (styrene monomer), the material of PS, in Taiwan and has not invested in production of PS so far. In light of the large market potential in mainland China, the company plans to set up an EPS factory with yearly capacity of 100,000 metric tons in Qingdao of Shangdong Province, northern China, and a SM factory with annual capacity of 500,000 metric tons in Quanzhou of Fujian, southeastern China

FCF operates an ABS (copolymer of acrylonitrile, butadiene, styrene) factory in Ningbo of Jiangsu Province, eastern China, and will establish a PS factory there as well. The PS factory will have annual production capacity of 200,000 metric tons.

June 10, 2003 Financial Times

Nan Ya Plastics to set up integrated polyester production base in mainland

Nan Plastics Corp., the largest local manufacturer of plastic products, will establish three subsidiary manufacturers to build an integrated production base of polyester products in Kunshan of Jiangsu Province, mainland China

In light of the market potential in mainland China, the company will set up a subsidiary manufacturer of polyester fiber and yarn with initial capital of US$18.5 million, one of polyester textured yarn with capital of US$18.5 million, and one of weaving, dyeing & finishing with US$18 million

The subsidiary manufacturer of polyester fiber and yarn will have an annual production capacity of 100,000 metric tons of polyester compound, 50,000 metric tons of polyester staple fiber, 25,000 metric tons of POY (partially oriented yarn of polyester), and 25,000 metric tons of FOY (fully oriented yarn of polyester). POY and FOY will be processed by another manufacturer into polyester textured yarn, and then woven, dyed, and finished by the other manufacturer into polyester filament knit fabric

Nan Ya has obtained approval from the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs for the investment project. The company has operated 15 subsidiary manufacturers (factories) and is establishing 12 others in mainland China, with product lines covering plastic tubes, plastic cloth, plastic leather, copper-clad laminates, PCBs (printed circuit boards), epoxy, and glass fiber. The investment in production of polyester products will extend the company's business operation there

Nan Ya currently boasts the world's largest production capacity of polyester products. The company has an annual production capacity of 960,000 metric tons in Taiwan and that of 800,000 metric tons in the U.S. Moreover, the company is setting up a subsidiary manufacturer with an annual production capacity of 150,000 metric tons of PET (polyehylene terephthalate) compound and 120,000 metric tons of textile polyester compound in Vietnam. The subsidiary will begin production sometime in the first half of next year.

2003-8-1 Asia Chemical Weekly

Taiwan's CPDC to sell assets to cut $714m corporate debt

Taiwan's China Petrochemical Development Corp (CPDC) is hoping to reduce its NT$25bn ($726.9m/Euro640.9m) debt by selling some of its assets and is in talks with some interested parties in Taiwan about the sale, according to a company source. He did not disclose further details.

CPDC's three core products are
caprolactam, acrylonitrile and acetic acid. It also has a 40 000 tonne/year nylon-chip plant in Toufen, Taiwan. The company used to produce methanol, but its 60 000 tonne/year methanol plant has been idle for more than three years now.

It suffered a net loss of NT$1.5bn in 2002, the source said -- an improvement of about 7% over the previous year.

The source said CPDC expects to make a small profit of NT$300-500m this year on total sales of about NT$20bn. Total sales last year were NT$18bn.

He said the company's sales performance in H1 this year was not good because of the war in Iraq and Sars although it expects a better second half because caprolactam margins are improving.

Caprolactam accounts for about 60% of CPDC's total sales and demand for the product has picked up significantly in the last month or so, especially from China.

August 12, 2003 The Shaw Group Inc.

Shaw Group's Stone & Webster Subsidiary to Provide Proprietary Process Technologies to Formosa Chemicals for Styrene Plant in Taiwan

The Shaw Group Inc. today announced that its subsidiary, Stone & Webster, Inc., will provide its proprietary downstream ethylene technologies to Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation for a grassroots ethylbenzene/styrene monomer facility in Haifeng, Taiwan. Stone & Webster will provide the technology through its recently acquired Badger Technologies unit which specializes in the development, licensing, and commercialization of petrochemical and petroleum refining-related technologies.

Formosa will use the Mobil/Badger EBMax ethylbenzene process integrated with the Fina/Badger styrene technology. With an initial capacity of
600,000 metric tons of styrene monomer per year, the Taiwan facility will be the largest single train styrene plant in the world. This represents the third Formosa ethylbenzene/styrene monomer plant to utilize the Badger technologies since 1987.

"We are pleased that Badger's ethylbenzene/styrene monomer technologies have once again been selected by Formosa and we look forward to working with our partners to ensure the success of this significant project," stated Nick Gallinaro, President of Stone & Webster Process. "This award further illustrates the value of our proprietary petrochemical technologies in the international marketplace, which continues to present opportunities for leveraging our technology portfolio."

The Shaw Group Inc. is a leading global provider of engineering, consulting, remediation, procurement, construction, maintenance, fabrication and facilities management services for government and private sector clients in the power, process, environmental, infrastructure and homeland defense markets. The Company is headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and employs approximately 17,000 people at its offices and operations in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. For further information, please visit the Company's website at

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