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Scholar debunks need for another ethylene project
23
Apr '11
Daigee Shaw, an eminent scholar and President of the Chung-hua Institution for Economic Research, has ruled out the conception that Taiwan's petrochemical industry would be hit if the country fails to retain Kuokuang project.

He while quoting this notion to be "fundamentally wrong", said that, there is no need for Taiwan to expand its petrochemical industry, as presently even the county well meets, the domestic demand for ethylene.

He said that, the sizeable sum that Taiwan has invested in its petrochemical industry over the last few decades has already paid out in the form of a constant and adequate supply of ethylene, and now when the number of downstream petrochemical businesses is reducing, the country does not require one more oil refinery to enhance ethylene production.

Shaw stated this while speaking at the fifth meeting held to study the ecological effects of the controversial Kuokuang petrochemical complex, which is in a controversy over allegations that the plant could cause large scale environmental destruction.

Further, in spite of the fact that, a report released in the Oil and Gas Journal in 2010, placed Taiwan at ninth position in global ethylene production and at seventh position in per capita ethylene production, according to Shaw, the domestic petrochemical businesses would grow more competitive, if the government withdraws the subsidy provisions and drive these businesses to evolve more efficient and non-polluting production techniques.

The industry can become even more lucrative if it engages in production of high-value items like paints and polymer additives, he added.

Presently, Taiwan's petrochemical industry remains greatly focused on production of synthetic fibres, plastics and rubber, which according to Shaw's analysis, deliver low value and generate lesser profits.

Shaw said the government should abandon the Kuokuang project, at once, and added that, considering the sustainable development perspective, the need is to divert Taiwan's petrochemical industry policy from volume-based to value-based.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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