Formosa's Vietnam operations damaged during anti-China rioting

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: May 14, 2014 8:24 am ET
Updated: May 14, 2014 4:30 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Materials, Materials Suppliers, Asia

Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics said May 14 that its factory campus in Dong Nai, Vietnam, was damaged as part of widespread rioting connected to maritime boundary and oil drilling disputes between Vietnam and China.

News reports said several thousand Vietnamese residents rioted May 13 at industrial parks in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces in the southern part of country, setting fires, damaging gates and windows and in some cases plundering computers and other property. International media reported hundreds of people were arrested, with estimates ranging from 200 to 400 people.

Formosa, which has production for biaxially oriented polypropylene and fibers at the Dong Nai site, said in a statement on its website that a mob of about 300 people broke into its facilities before midnight local time.

The company said it called police at around 10:30 p.m., and the county chief arrived with his team, but they had little impact on stopping the mob from entering the industrial park. Rioters did not leave until about 4 a.m., so damage was still being assessed.

The company gave no reports of deaths or injuries, and a spokesman for the Nhon Trach Industrial Park also told Plastics News there were no reports of people being hurt or killed.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan-based Formosa said it deeply regrets the incident and said the foreign-owned factories being targeted by rioters have no connection to the political dispute over maritime boundaries between China and Vietnam.

It said it also regrets the inability of the Vietnamese government to handle riots and protect foreign investment. The company said it believes foreign investors will have doubts about the security in Vietnam, and will step back on new investments. It urged Taiwan’s government to pressure Vietnam to adopt effective protection measures.

A report from Reuters news agency said that “the brunt [of the damage] appears to have been borne by Taiwanese companies in the zones … as rioters mistook the firms to be Chinese-owned.”

The New York Times quoted media in South Korea stating that 50 Korean companies also were damaged during the rioting. Reuters quoted a spokesman for exporter Li & Fung, which supplies toys, clothing and other consumer products to U.S. retailers, as saying some of its suppliers in Vietnam halted production as a precautionary measure.

The Dong Nai site is a large production base for Formosa.

The company has invested $1 billion there thus far, setting up yarn, polyester fiber and BOPP production, and it announced late last year it was spending another $500 million, including $100 million for a 200,000-metric-ton-per-year polystyrene factory.

Formosa is currently Vietnam’s largest foreign-invested company, according to an English language website of the Communist Party in Dong Nai.

A series of demonstrations escalated in Vietnam in recent days, after China moved an oil drilling rig into waters claimed by both countries. Coast guard vessels from the two nations used water cannons and tried ramming each other’s vessels to disrupt operations.

Press reports said foreign factories were also damaged at Singaporean-owned industrial parks in Vietnam.


Comments

Formosa's Vietnam operations damaged during anti-China rioting

By Steve Toloken
Staff Reporter / Asia Bureau Chief

Published: May 14, 2014 8:24 am ET
Updated: May 14, 2014 4:30 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

RheTech to commercialize hemp fibers to replace glass in PP

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

RheTech Inc. plan to commercialize its first hemp fiber compounds in January.    More

Image

Market growing, but compounders say customers remain 'cautious'

November 27, 2014 6:00 am ET

Everywhere they've looked, North American compounders and concentrate makers have seen numbers on the rise in 2014.    More

Image

Americhem beats weather woes at start of 2014 for good fiscal year

November 26, 2014 9:45 am ET

Gains from the automotive and construction markets provided a strong fiscal 2014 for Americhem Inc.    More

Image

PE prices drop for first time in two years, PP down 5 cents

November 26, 2014 10:22 am ET

North American polyethylene buyers might want to circle November 2014 in red on their calendars — since PE prices this month have fallen for...    More

Image

Taipei Plas vandal and German firm trade lawsuits

November 25, 2014 1:26 pm ET

Taiwan businessman Karma Tang, who splashed red paint at German firm Baumüller GmbH's Taipei Plas booth, is in a messy legal battle.    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events