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FPG kicks off hiring campaign for Louisiana investment

2017/07/17 20:01:43

Taipei, July 17 (CNA) The Formosa Plastics Group (FPG, 台塑集團), one of Taiwan's biggest conglomerates, said Monday it has begun a campaign to recruit workers for its massive investment project in the U.S. state of Louisiana.

FPG announced in June that two FPG subsidiaries -- Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp. (台化) and Formosa Petrochemical Corp. (台塑化) -- will invest US$9.4 billion in a petrochemical complex in Louisiana to expand the group's presence in the U.S. market.

The company said it was launching the recruiting campaign now to have a well-trained workforce by the time the complex opens, currently scheduled for as early as 2023.

FPG did not disclose how many people the group will hire through the campaign but said the newcomers will receive three years of training in the group's naphtha cracking compound in Mailiao in Yunlin County before being sent to work at the U.S. facility.

Formosa Petrochemical, which is in charge of many of the details related to the new investment, including hiring, said its vice president, Huang Chih-shang (黃志尚), will supervise the training program.

As long as the new hires are fluent in English, they will be sent directly to Louisiana after completion of the program, while others will replace employees in Taiwan who are sent to the new U.S. plant.

Local media reported Monday that Formosa Petrochemical is expected to send 60 to 70 of its current employees to the Louisiana site.

FPG said in February that the Louisiana investment is aimed at producing 1.2 million metric tons of ethylene, 600,000 metric tons of propylene, 800,000 metric tons of ethylene glycol and 600,000 metric tons of polypropylene per year.

Construction of the Louisiana plant is scheduled to start in 2020 after its environmental impact assessment is approved by Louisiana, and mass production is expected to start in 2023 at the earliest.

Currently, Formosa Plastics Corp. (台塑) and Nan Ya Plastics Corp. (南亞), two other major units of FPG, operate two ethylene plants in Texas, with a third one under construction.

The group invested US$6 billion in the state from 1980 to 2011, according to local media reports.

Following the announcement of the recruitment campaign, shares of Formosa Petrochemical rose 0.97 percent to close at NT$104.50, and Formosa Chemicals & Fibre gained 0.77 percent to end at NT$92.10.

(By Wei Shu and Frances Huang)