Walsin Lihwa mulls setting up steel mill at Taichung Harbor

Dec 09, 2003 Ι Industry In-Focus Ι General Items Ι By Ben, CENS
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Taipei, Dec. 9, 2003 (CENS)--Walsin Lihwa Corporation, one of Taiwan's leading manufacturers of electric wire and cable, is said to have strong interest to locate its specialty-steel business group in the Taichung Harbor area, central Taiwan.

Hsieh Ming-hui, director of Taichung Harbor Bureau under the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, recently confirmed that Walsin Lihwa's specialty-steel business group has been intensively negotiating with his bureau for setting up a large-sized steel mill in the Taichung Harbor area.

Hsieh said his bureau has recently reached a consensus with Walsin Lihwa that the latter will launch the investment project on a BOO (build-operate-own) scheme. If the project is smoothly carried out, it will be the largest of its kind in the Taichung Harbor area, except that of the state-run Taiwan Power Company and Chinese Petroleum Corp.

Walsin Lihwa's specialty-steel business group is said to invest NT$15 billion (US$441.17 million at US$1:NT$34) to set up an integrated stainless-steel mill with annual output of 1.5 million metric tons. If the investment project is finalized, it will be the largest private investment project ever launched in the Taichung Harbor area.

The specialty-steel investment project to be launched by Walsin Lihwa's specialty-steel business group is considered to constitute a sharp impact on domestic steel manufacturers, such as Tang Eng Steel Iron Works Ltd. And Yieh United Steel Corp.

The problem facing Walsin Lihwa is the acquisition of industrial land. To facilitate the construction of the proposed steel mill, Walsin Lihwa's specialty-steel business group requests a land area of 60 hectares with pier facility for importing such materials as scrap iron and alloys, and exporting stainless steel rods, bars and plates.

To meet Walsin Lihwa's need, Taichung Harbor Bureau had negotiated with the Taichung branch of the Export Processing Zone Administration under the Ministry of Economic Affairs for land swap, but in vain.

At present, Taichung Harbor Bureau targets to lease Walsin Lihwa an 80-hectare land in the I district of the harbor's special industrial zone that the financial-troubled Kuei Yi Industrial Co. would rent. Hsieh said the land is rectangular in shape and is adjacent to a pier for shipping scrap iron, which is a very ideal place for Walsin Lihwa to locate its steel mill. Walsin Lihwa would have great chance to lease the land if Kuei Yi abandons its right to continually rent the land.
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