Malaysia to accommodate Taiwan petrochemical investment: official

Focus Taiwan 13 Apr 11;

Kuala Lumpur, April 13 (CNA) If Taiwan's state-run oil company decides to move a petrochemical investment project to Malaysia, the country will accommodate the needs of the company, a Malaysian official said Wednesday.

Malaysia will be "flexible for their special request" by CPC Corp., Taiwan executives, said Mukhriz Mahathir, Malaysia's deputy minister of international trade and industry.

CPC executives said Tuesday that Malaysia's offer of a 10-year tax holiday and an expedited environmental impact assessment was an average standard incentive package for foreign investors.

However, Mahathir told the CNA that his country will do its best to satisfy the needs of the Taiwan investor in every way, if Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co., an affiliate of CPC, decides to relocate its controversial petrochemical plant to Malaysia.

If CPC is not satisfied with the Johore and Port Klang locations offered, arrangements could be made for the company to look at other sites such as Sabah and Sarawak, he said.

Asked about Malaysia's edge over China, which reportedly is also keen to attract the investment project, Mahathir said that while Malaysia does not have much oil or natural gas, it has the relevant expertise and technology.

In addition, it has several locations that Taiwan can choose from, he said. From a long-term perspective, Malaysia is also politically stable, which means there is no danger of abrupt policy changes, he said.

Taiwan's Economics Minister Shih Yen-shiang said earlier this month that if the project had to be relocated overseas because of protests by environmental groups, CPC would be inclined to choose Malaysia.

The multi-billion-dollar project was initiated by Kuokuang Petrochemical to expand oil refining capacity and the production of chemicals such as ethylene.

Critics said the plan to build the complex in the Dacheng Wetlands in central Taiwan would create losses that would outweigh the benefits. The disadvantages would include damage to local oyster and eel-farming industries, and health hazards to local residents, they said. (By Sun Tien-mei and Lilian Wu) enditem/ pc