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Taiwanese petrochemical consortium plans to build new complexes in China

TAIPEI--A Taiwanese consortium will soon file an application with the government to invest in a petrochemical complex in China, the Petrochemical Industry Association of Taiwan said Monday.

The consortium is planning to set up a joint venture with Beijing-based Sinopec Group to build oil refining and naphtha cracking plants in the Gulei Development Zone in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province, with each side holding a 50-percent stake, according to association spokesman Jack Shieh.

The group is comprised of eight companies, including Ho Tung Petrochemical Corp., Hsin Tay Petroleum Co., LCY Chemical Corp. and USI Corp.

The other four are Asia Polymer Corp, TSRC Corp. Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corp. and BOC Lienhwa Industrial Gases Co.

Emile Chang, a spokesman for the Investment Commission under the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said his understanding was that the consortium was preparing the paperwork for the application and would submit its application to the commission in a couple of days.

The application will be the first since the government officially lifted its ban on investment by Taiwan's petrochemical sector in naphtha cracking facilities in China on Oct. 1.

Certain restrictions still apply to such investment projects, however, including that one company is only allowed to take part in one project, according to revised regulations issued by the Economics Ministry.

Also, the company must hold more than a 50 percent stake in the project or hold control over the operations of certain product lines, and must give priority to supplying Taiwan's domestic needs, the regulations stipulate.

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