Far Eastern New Century Corporation made a successful bid of around NT$1 billion for a PET plant in West Virginia, U.S. and a research center in Ohio on February 1st.
The capacity of the PET plant is around 360,000 ton/year on a site of 424 acres. This strategic action will be FENC’s first production site in the U.S. The PET plant in Apple Grove was previous owned by M&G, which filed for bankruptcy protection.
FENC is one of the top five PET producers globally in terms of capacity, and was the first PET producer in Asia. Currently, the company has PET production sites in Taiwan and China, and a new PET plant in Vietnam is scheduled to commence operation this June. With expansion in the U.S., FENC considered several factors: Regarding sales, the U.S. is one of its major PET markets, and a U.S.-based plant will be close to customers.
Second, the U.S. has been increasing non-tariff trade barriers in imports into the American market; for instance, U.S. producers have been continuously launching anti-dumping cases against Taiwanese PET makers in recent years.
Regarding production, a complete supply chain of upstream feedstock has been built in the U.S., and tax reform bills have reduced corporate tax rates. This, in conjunction with lower energy costs, and the appreciation of the Taiwanese dollar against U.S. dollar mean that it is an excellent time to invest in the U.S.