Opportunities for Aussie exporters as Taiwan giants turn green

28 September, 2006

Austrade has identified growing demand for more energy efficient and ‘green’ technologies from Taiwan is creating export opportunities for Australian businesses with relevant capabilities.

Austrade’s Taipei-based Senior Trade Commissioner, Jeff Turner said Taiwan’s large industrial groups are interested in forming business relationships with producers of alternative fuels and enabling technologies.

“As customers request more efficient and cleaner products, Taiwan’s larger firms are looking to Australian businesses that can supply ‘green’ technologies and energy sources,” Turner said. 

“Major players in Taiwan’s energy and ICT sectors are facing domestic and international pressure to deliver cleaner and more energy efficient solutions and are keen to work with companies that can supply the materials, technologies and know-how to help them achieve these goals.  In addition, Taiwan has companies that would look to invest in value-adding in Australia.”

Turner said while Austrade is well known for helping Australia’s small-to-medium enterprises to achieve export success, the Australian Government’s export promotion agency has also forged important and lasting links with large Taiwanese businesses that can help Australian firms secure export contracts.

Austrade’s Kaohsiung-based Manager, Sidney Chen said right now Taiwan is looking to for the technology to produce polysilicon and to invest in value-adding in Australia.

“Polysilicon is a product derived from silica and an important component in the production of efficient solar panels and semi-conductors.  Australia is rich in silica reserves and currently exports silica to Taiwan and around the world,” Chen said.

“Demand in Taiwan is growing rapidly for polysilicon due to increased usage of semi-conductors that provide energy for many things such as mobile phones, CPU’s and the ICT sector,” he said.

Chen said another area that Australian companies have strong capabilities in and could potentially supply the Taiwanese market is biodiesel. “Made from vegetable oils, biodiesel can be used in existing diesel engines, such as those used in heavy machines and trucks, without the need for modification.  As well as coming from a renewable source, biodiesel offers the advantages of containing no sulphates and being 47 per cent more efficient than traditional diesel,” he said.

“Demand for biodiesel in Taiwan is set to increase with the Taiwanese government announcing it will set targets for renewable energy and place regulations on all retail gas stations selling diesel to offer B2 (two per cent biodiesel) within a few years. 

“Taiwan currently consuming around five billion litres of diesel per year, at current usage this places the potential Taiwanese market for biodiesel at approximately 100 million litres per annum,” Chen said.

In 2005, Taiwan ranked as Australia’s ninth largest trading partner with bilateral trade valued at more than $9 billion.