Taiwan to invest $ 6.3 bn in energy ventures in western Australia

Aug 31, 1999 02:00 AM

Taiwan's ruling Kuomintang plans to team up with international business groups to invest some 200 bn Taiwan dollar ($ 6.3 bn) into ambitious energy ventures in western Australia.
The investment projects will include LNG processing facilities and transportation equipment, as well as a naphtha-cracking complex, said Liu Tai-ying, head of the KMT Business Management Committee. Naphtha cracking plants carry out a series of crude oil refining processes to make petrochemical materials like polyethylene and polypropylene.
The Central Investment Holding Co., a KMT investment arm, and the China Development Bank would each control a 20 % stake, Liu was quoted as saying. The other venture partners, he said, might include Taiwan's state-run Taiwan Power Co. and Chinese Petroleum Corp., the Tuntex Group, Japan's Mitsubishi Group, as well as Mobil Corp. of the United States and British Petroleum Co.

The projects were unveiled after China was reported to have exerted pressure on the Australian government to stall gas sales to Taiwan ahead of Chinese President Jiang Zemin's first state visit to Canberra. The Australian Financial Review said that Taipei had offered to buy A$ 50 bn ($ 32 bn) of Australian gas over 10 years, but was being stalled by Canberra in order not to offend Beijing.
The Australian government denied the report. "Adherence to a "one China" policy does not preclude our active pursuit of Australia's important economic and commercial interests in Taiwan, and Australia is extremely well placed to meet both China and Taiwan's LNG needs," a foreign affairs department spokesman said.
Liu also shrugged off the reported pressure, saying "they (Chinese authorities) do theirs, we do ours." "Authorities in West Australia expressed a welcome to the investment project and promised there won't be any problem in gas supply," he said.

Source: IINX via Iinoil
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