Taiwan’s E United plans steel factory in U.S.

Company abandoned Vietnam investment

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(By Central News Agency)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – E United Group (義聯集團) founder Lin I-shou (林義守) said Wednesday its steel company had submitted plans to the United States to build a steel factory there.

The size of the investment was likely to exceed NT$50 billion (US$1.6 billion) and the project would be built in “a southeastern state,” reports said.

The reported plan follows persistent media reports that two of Taiwan’s most prominent companies, Apple supplier Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd. and contract chip giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., are also preparing major investment projects in the U.S. now that the administration of President Donald Trump is emphasizing domestic production.

Promoting a real estate project in Taipei Wednesday, Lin said that E United’s steel investments in China had reached saturation point. Following negative environmental impact assessments in Taiwan a decade ago, the group had built a steel venture in China which had grown to a size similar to its domestic production, Lin said.

About nine years ago, way before the current government launched its New Southbound Policy, E United had shown interest in producing steel in Vietnam, but due to various problems, the company had abandoned that project this year, Lin said. Investments in Indonesia were going ahead as planned though, the E United founder emphasized.

The tycoon said that two weeks ago, E United submitted a proposal for a steel plant to the U.S. authorities, who had immediately asked for data regarding land, water and power supplies for the project. Lin said the company had filed that information on Tuesday, though there were no immediate details available about the projected size and location for the investment.

The Kaohsiung-based E United Group is also known for hospitals, hotels, an amusement park, and a university.