Formosa Plastics Group, Taiwan's petrochemical giant, has drawn up plans to invest US$2 billion into its US investment projects to capitalise on North America's shale energy revolution, a daily reported on 9 November.
According to Wang Wen-yuan, director of the group, the investment was encouraged by cheap supplies of natural gas, said Economic Daily News and Apple Daily. Ethylene, an organic compound widely used in chemical industry, produced from shale gas costs only US$300 per tonne, compared with US$900 per tonne from oil, Wang said..
The project will be set up to produce ethylene glycol (EG), a chemical compound used in making polyester fibres, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a chemical material used in manufacturing plastic bottles and corrosion-resistant piping, Wang said. A captive power plant to be set up along the project will use waste heat to generate power.
With this project, the annual ethylene capacity of Formosa Plastics Group's US facilities will increase to 3.9 million tons, compared with 3.0 million tons of its capacity in Taiwan.
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