Taiwan firms plan to build petrochem project in China: Report

TAIPEI (REUTERS) - A group of Taiwanese companies have applied to the Investment Commission for approval to set up a joint venture with China's Sinopec Group to build a petrochemical complex on the mainland, a local newspaper reported on Friday.

The plan, which would be the first of its kind since Taiwan lifted a ban last October to allow local companies to build naphtha cracking facilities in China, would require the companies and an unidentified unit of Sinopec to hold a 50 per cent stake each, said the Commercial Times.

Total investment for the project would be US$15 billion (S$19 billion), with 9.6 billion yuan (S$2 billion) set for the initial stage, the Chinese-language paper said, citing unidentified sources.

The facility would be located in the Gulei Development Zone in Zhangzhou in Fujian Province, and would include oil refining and naphtha cracking plants, it added.

The group of companies included USI Corp and Ho Tung Chemical Corp, the paper said.

Officials from the Investment Commission, which must approve outbound investments in China, were not immediately available for comment. USI and Ho Tung officials could also not be reached for comment.