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Petrochemical co-op in talks
( 2003-09-05 09:12) (China Daily)

Major petrochemical tycoons from across the Taiwan Straits came to Beijing together to seek opportunities for investment at the Cross-Straits Petroleum and Chemical Trade and Technological Co-operation Conference, which opened yesterday.

"We are looking for opportunities in ethene production and related downstream chemical products," said Alex Kuo, president of Oriental Union Chemical Corp, one of the biggest petrochemical firms in Taiwan Province.

C. T. Lee, president of the giant Formosa Plastics Corporation of Taiwan, is expected to meet senior executives of the Chinese mainland petrochemical giant Sinopec today to talk about future co-operation.

"Globalization has become a trend and we will try hard to get more involved in the mainland."

He said Formosa Plastics' petrochemical plant in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province, would start operation next year.

Douglas Tong Hsu, chairman and chief executive officer of Far Eastern Group, also said that the construction of its purified terephthalic acid project in Shanghai was well under way.

He declined to say the exact amount of the investment, but he said the usual capital requirement for such a facility was about US$200 million.

At the same time, many local governments on the Chinese mainland also made clear their intention to attract investment from Taiwanese petrochemical firms.

Shan Hongqing, director of the Economic Policy Research Institute under Sinopec, said that the Chinese mainland has become the biggest market for Taiwanese petrochemical firms, and that these firms hope to solve their redundant oil refinery capacity problems in Taiwan by meeting consumption demands on the mainland.

In the first half of this year, petrochemical products worth US$4.3 billion were sold to the Chinese mainland.

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