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Japanese firms mull CPC investment plan in India

2017/12/16 17:39

CPC, Taiwan, Chairman Tai Chein

Taipei, Dec. 16 (CNA) Japanese firms have expressed interest in an investment plan by state-owned oil refiner CPC Corp., Taiwan, in the Indian market, according to the oil company.

In an interview with CNA, CPC Chairman Tai Chein (戴謙) said on Wednesday that some Japanese firms have shown an interest in CPC's project to set up a petrochemical development zone in India.

Tai said with assistance from James Huang (黃志芳), chairman of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA), some renowned Japanese firms are mulling involvement in CPC's Indian investment project, which seeks to develop a petrochemical cluster with integrated upstream, mid-stream and downstream enterprises in one industrial park.

He said cooperation with Japanese investors would reduce investment risks in the Indian market and significantly increase the chance of success for CPC.

However, Tai did not provide any details about the potential involvement of Japanese investors in the Indian market.

According to Tai, CPC and other petrochemical firms have sent two delegations to India this year to survey the Indian market.

Tai said the state-owned company will organize an alliance with other petrochemical firms for the Indian investment and the alliance is expected to enter talks with Indian-based conglomerate Adani Group to jointly fund the Mundra petrochemical industrial park project.

Mundra, a census town in Kutch District in the Indian state of Gujarat, is the home town of India Prime Minister Narendra Damodardas Modi, according to Tai.

As Adani, which owns railway, power plant and airport assets in India, has built an excellent relationship in Indian business and political circles, cooperation with the group is expected to bode well for CPC's future investments in the country, he added.

In the future, Tai said, CPC is considering one of three capacity options for annual production of ethylene, one of the most important petrochemical raw materials -- 1 million tones, 1.2 million tons and 1.5 million tons -- in the petrochemical industrial park in India, but no final decision has been made.

In addition to the investment in India, CPC is also planning to establish another petrochemical park in Indonesia, with the company set to relocate its fifth naphtha cracking plant to the Southeast Asian country.

The fifth naphtha cracking plant, located in Kaohsiung, has been mothballed since the end of 2015, having been shut down due to rising awareness of environmental protection in Taiwan.

Faced with increased competition in the local saturated petrochemical market, CPC decided to work with other petrochemical firms to move the plant to Indonesia for future development.

Tai said talks to relocate the fifth naphtha cracking plant to Indonesia are underway, adding that the company is keen to move the plant by the end of 2018 and hopes to complete the talks in the first half of next year.

He said the future plant in Indonesia is expected to have an annual capacity of 500,000 tons of ethylene.

Meanwhile, Tai said another investment project in United States is still under evaluation, though no investment site has yet been chosen.

(By Huang Ya-chuan and Frances Huang)Enditem/AW