Taisugar ethanol plan doom by changing government policy
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-07-17 02:39 PM

Taiwanese energy and food producers woke up from their ethanol dreams after years of futile attempts to build ethanol facilities. Taiwan Sugar Corporation, also known as Taisugar, originally planned to invest NT$3 billion in building a sugarcane ethanol plant with expected annual capacity of 120 million liters. However, the company announced termination of this plan as Taiwan government has long been unable to nail down its renewable energy policy.

The Executive Yuan will convene a national energy conference in August. In 2006, the Executive Yuan made ethanol production an economic policy priority, but ironically, not one company so far has been granted permission to develop ethanol fuel, including Taiwan CPC and Vedan. Taisugar followed with steps to cancel a plan to establish an ethanol plant after assessment that the government will not approve any ethanol production plan in the foreseeable future due to objections from other government agencies.

Taisugar’s Nan-Ching Factory manager Chen Wei-tung noted that the cabinet-level Council of Agriculture disapproves of fuel makers vying for resources with farmers.

Chen added that sugarcane ethanol has been considered the green gold which is, not only celebrated as environmentally-friendly fuel, but can also bring economic benefit to rural areas. Years ago, Taisugar estimated that Taiwan needs 300 million liters of ethanol fuel a year and the company is capable of supplying over one third of this amount. However, the changing policy has forced potential producers to quit the plan, including Taisugar, whose Nan-Ching factory was supposed to start ethanol production in 2015 pending permission.

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